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The Chronicle of 

Michael the Great, 

Patriarch of the Syrians 

Translated from Classical Armenian 
by Robert Bedrosian 

For Reverend Father Krikor Vardapet Maksoudian, 
who taught me the language 

Sources of the Armenian Tradition (Long Branch, N.J., 2013) 

This work is in the public domain. It may be copied and distributed freely. 

Maps: 

From Atlas Antiquus (Berlin, 1869) by Heinrich Kiepert: 

Asia Minor and Neighbors 

Syria 

Mesopotamia 

Greater Cappadocia 
Armenia and Neighbors 

Additional maps are available on the Maps page. 

Chronological tables are available on the Chronological Tables page. 

Translator's Preface 



Composite 1871 Edition 1870 Edltl0 n 1871 Edition 

(below) 



The Chronicle of 

Michael the Great, 

Patriarch of the Syrians 



The following Table of Contents for the Composite 1871 edition was created for 
the convenience of readers and is not part of the Armenian text. 

Author's Preface 

Sources 

Problems of Chronology 

Adam 

Seth 

Jared; Mt. Hermon 

Chaldean Kings 

Methusaleh 

Noah 

Sons of Noah and Their Lands 
Tower of Babel 
The Amazons 

Rulers of Babylon 

Abraham 

Shamiram (Semiramis) 

Jacob 

Moses 

Exodus 

Judges 

Saul 

Solomon 

The Queen of Sheba and Her Riddles 
Rulers after Solomon 
Tiglathpilesar 

Shalmaneser 



Darius, Daniel, Cyrus 
Xerxes , B.C. 486-465 

Persian Kings 
Alexander , B.C. 356-323 
Ptolemy , B.C. 323-285 

Translators of the Bible 
Haykazean Kings 
Maccabees , B.C. 167-160 

138 B.C. 
90 B.C. 
Genealogy of Herod 

Barzaphran 

Julius Caesar , B.C. 100-44 

Herod's Rule over the Jews 

Cleopatra , reigned B.C. 51-30 
Birth of Jesus 
Coming of the Magi 

Selection of the Apostles 
Selection of the Disciples 
Philo, Jewish Sects 

Abgar, King of Edessa 
Claudius , A.D. 41-54 
Vespasian, A.D. 70-79 

Apollonius of Tyana 

A.D. 163-276 

Constantine the Great , 305-337 

Gregory the Illuminator 

Arianism 

Council of Nicaea , 325 

Empress Helene Finds the Cross 
Constantine's Successors 
Julian the Apostate , 361-363 

Jovian , 363-364 

Mawie', Queen of the Tachiks (Arabs) 

Theodosius I , 379-395 

Arcadius , 395-408 



Theodosius II , 408-450 
Nestorius , c. 386-c. 450 

Council of Chalcedon , 451 
Marcian , 450-457 
LeoJ, 457-474 

Zeno, 474-491 
Anastasius I , 491-518 
Bishop Severus 

Justin I , 518-527 
Victims of Chalcedon 
Bishop Asclepius of Edessa 

The Himyarites of Arabia 
Justinian I , 527-574 
Religious Controversies 

Portents in 536 
Sack of Rome 
Heresies 

Julian of Halicarnassus 

Events at Amida in the 560s 

Justin II , 565-578, and aerial phenomena 

Empress Sophia 
King Mundhir and the Arabs 
Byzantine-Persian warfare , 
in Mesopotamia and Armenia 

Tiberius , 574-582 
Maurice , 582-602 
Phocas , 602-610 

Heraclius I , 610-641 
Muhammad , c. 570-632 
'Umar , 634-644 

End of the Sasanians 

Deaths of Heraclius and 'Umar 

'Uthman , 644-656 

Barsauma and the Persians 

Events of the 650s 

Constantine IV, Pogonatus , 668-685 



'Abd al-Malik , 685-705 

Justinian II , 685-695, and the Khazars 

al-Walid , 705-715 

Yazid II , 720-724 
Marwan n , 744-750 
Wonders in the Sky 

Events of the 750s 

Events, 760s-780s , wonders 

Harun al-Rashid , 786-809 

LeoV, 813-820; Michael II, 820-829 
Theophilus , 821-829; 829-842 
al-Mutasim , 833-842 

Visit of King George of Nubia 
Aerial Phenomena , 840s 
Witchcraft , 860s 

John II Tzimisces , 969-976 

Michael IV, the Paphlagonian , 1034-1041 

Early History of the Turks 

Constantine IX, Monomachus , 1042-1055 

Saljuq Invasions 

Romanus IV, Diogenes , 1068-1071 

Armenian Cilicia 

Crusades 

Kilij-Arslan I , 1092-1107 

The Hospitallers 

Events, 11 20s- 1130s , Wonders 

The Lance of Christ 

Manuel I , 1143-1180 

Edessa , to c. 1145 

T'orosJI of Cilicia , 1145-1169 

Events, 1150-1156 

The Almohads , Maghreb and al-Andalus 

Fatimids 



Events, 1157-1158 
Events, 1159-1160 
Events to 1165 



Events, 1166-1169/70 

Earthquake 

Caliph Mustadi , 1170-1180 

Events, 1172 

Heresy 

Events, 1173-1174 

Events, 1175 
Events, 1176-1177 
Events, 1178 

Events, 1179-1181 
Events, 1182-1186 
Events, 1187-1189 
Events, 1190-1195 



Available on other pages of this website are some useful accompaniments to Michael's Chronicle. 
Michael made use of Josephus and Eusebius among his sources. Bar Hebraeus made use of Michael 
among his sources: 

The Writings of Flavius Josephus (ca. 37-100); 

the Chronicle (or Chronicon ) of Eusebius of Caesarea (ca. 263-ca. 339) [Eusebius' Chronicle Part 

i]; 

Roger Pearse's translation of Eusebius' chronological tables ( Jerome's Chronicle ) [Eusebius' 
Chronicle Part II]; 

Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History ; 

and E. A. Wallis Budge's translation of Bar Hebraeus' Chronography . 

i 

Clicking the links below will download the files in pdf format from our website: 
Classical Armenian texts: 

Jerusalem 1870 edition , 630 pdf pages. File size: 14.7 MB; 
Jerusalem 1871 edition , 815 pdf pages. File size: 19.2 MB. 

Victor Langlois' French translation, a composite of the Armenian versions: 

Chronique de Michel le Grand patriarche des Syriens Jacobites (Venice, 1868). Langlois 
used manuscripts from the two main groups of manuscripts published in the later Classical 
Armenian editions of Jerusalem 1870 and 1871. His edition is very readable and 
accompanied by extensive scholarly notes. 399 pdf pages. File size: 17.2 MB. 



Chabot's French translation of the Syriac text: 

Chabot volume 1 . File size: 23.9 MB. 
Chabot volume 2 . File size: 41.5 MB. 
Chabot volume 3 . File size: 32.7 MB. 

Some Armeniaca Excluded from the Armenian Versions , but found in Chabot's French 
translation of the original Syriac. File size: 11.3 MB. 

The Syriac text is available at Internet Archive: 
Chabot volume 4. File size: 101.7 MB. 



The Chronicle of 

Michael the Great, 

Patriarch of the Syrians 

Translator's Preface 



[i] The Chronicle of Michael the Great (A.D. 1 126-1 199) may be the longest medieval 
chronicle in the Western world. It begins with Creation and continues to the year 1195. 
Unfortunately, only one copy of the original Syriac manuscript has survived. The 
manuscript's close brush with extinction was due, probably, to its enormous length and 
the great expense required to make copies. The physical arrangement of the material, too, 
may have been another reason that the work was not favored by copyists. Michael 
presented his material in three columns of text which describe, separately, a given 
period's political/military, ecclesiastical, and miscellaneous developments. The Chronicle 
was written by Michael over the course of fifty years, and the various parts were 
assembled while he was Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church (1 166-1 199). The 
result is not a smooth narrative. Nor are the three sections discrete in terms of their 
contents — there is constant overlapping of ecclesiastical and miscellaneous material (such 
as earthquakes, famines, and unexplained phenomena) in the political/military section, as 
might be expected. Thus, the length and the arrangement of the material were probably 
negative factors from a copyist's and also a reader's perspective. As a result of these and 
other factors, today we have only one Syriac manuscript which is missing the author's 
Preface and has other lacunae. A Garshuni translation of it, unfortunately, has the same 
missing parts. 

[Jean-Baptiste Chabot's French translation of the original Syriac text in three volumes is 
available for downloading: Chabot volume 1 (Paris, 1899). File size: 23.9 MB; Chabot 
volume 2 (Paris, 1901). File size: 41.5 MB; Chabot volume 3 (Paris, 1905). File size: 
32.7 MB. These pdf files are searchable, making them particularly useful. The Syriac 
text is available at Internet Archive: Chabot volume 4 (Paris, 1910). File size: 101.7 
MB.] 

If only one copy of the Chronicle in the original Syriac is known today, some 60 copies 
of medieval Armenian versions have survived. The Armenian versions are abridgements, 



less than half the size of the original. Moreover, the Armenian adaptors presented a 
single narrative, not three, and they skipped much material specific to doctrinal issues 
involving the Syrian Orthodox Church, as well as Michael's chronological and 
genealogical tables, presenting this material in prose format, instead. Probably these same 
reasons — shorter length and a more engaging and readable narrative — partly account for 
the popularity and abundance of the Armenian versions. 

[ii] The English translation presented below is a composite text based on the two main 
Classical Armenian versions of Michael's Chronicle. Remarkably, Michael's Chronicle 
was abridged twice in the 1 3th century, by two separate groups. The reasons for this 
retranslation are unclear, but the two translations are completely different in vocabulary, 
syntax, inclusion or exclusion of events, ordering of events, and style. The Classical 
Armenian text representing manuscripts of the first translation, begun in 1 2 1 6 and 
completed in 1229, was published in Jerusalem in 1870 {Tear'n Mixaye'li patriark'i 
asorwots' zhamanakagrut'iwn [Lord Michael Patriarch of the Syrian's Chronicle] ). 
The second and fuller translation/abridgement was completed in 1248. The principal 
translators in the second group were the well-known Armenian historian, Vardan 
Arewelts'i ("the Easterner") and his colleague, the Syriac cleric, Ishoh. The Classical 
Armenian text of manuscripts representing the second translation was published in 
Jerusalem in 1871 {Zhamanakagrut'iwn tear'n Mixaye'li asorwots' patriark'i [Chronicle 
of Lord Michael, Patriarch of the Syrians]). Both editions are available for 
downloading: 1870 edition , 630 pdf pages. File size: 14.7 MB; 1871 edition , 815 pdf 
pages. File size: 19.2 MB. 

In 1868, two years before the first set of Classical Armenian texts was issued the great 
orientalist, Victor Langlois, published a composite French translation based on two 
manuscripts at the Mkhitarist library in Venice and one in Paris. Langlois' translation is 
superb and is accompanied by extensive scholarly notes in which the author tries to trace 
the sources of the Chronicle's information, line by line when he can. The manuscripts 
available to Langlois seem to have contained both 1 3th century renditions. [Langlois' 
important and enduring work may be downloaded here: Chronique de Michel le Grand 
patriarche des Syriens Jacobites (Venice, 1868), 399 pdf pages. File size: 17.2 MB.] As 
Langlois was a more erudite historian than Chabot, his notes also are invaluable for 
understanding the sources and contents of the Syriac original. In fact, Europe first 
became acquainted with Michael's Chronicle via Langlois' French translation. Until the 
subsequent "discovery" of the sole Syriac manuscript of the Chronicle by Europeans, it 
was believed that the Armenian version was all that had survived. It was also believed 
that the Armenian version was a full translation of the Syriac. Today we know that the 
Armenian versions are abridgements. But a fundamental problem exists when making 
assumptions from comparisons of the Armenian versions with the Syriac: we compare 
the Armenian with the sole extant Syriac manuscript, but do not know what the Syriac 



manuscript(s) looked like which the 13th century Armenian translators used. The 
Armenian abridgements contain some sections that do not appear in the extant Syriac 
manuscript — such as the riddles asked of Solomon by the Queen of Sheba, and an 
expanded account of the Amazons. Were these and other sections originally present in 
the Syriac? Again, the Armenian versions contain a small amount of material specific to 
Armenian history, which does not appear in the Syriac. Yet there is a significant body of 
material in the Syriac about Armenians which was excluded by the Armenian translators. 
What instructions did the Armenian translators receive regarding what to include and 
exclude? For comparative purposes, we have made a downloadable pdf file [348 pdf 
pages, file size: 11.3 MB] of Some Armeniaca excluded from the Armenian versions , 
but found in Chabot's French translation of the original Syriac. Happily, Chabot's 
complete three- volume translation, which was scanned by Roger Pearse, is searchable. 
Thus, eventually, such intriguing questions may receive more attention. 

[ill] Comparisons of the Armenian versions with each other, and also with the Syriac 
original have been made by the distinguished orientalist, Andrea Barbara Schmidt. Dr. 
Schmidt is currently engaged in the daunting task of preparing a critical edition of the 
Armenian versions of Michael's Chronicle, to be accompanied by a German translation. 
She kindly provided me with her important article from Le Museon 109(1996) pp. 
299-319, which may be downloaded here: Die zweifache armenische Rezension der 
svrischen Chronik Michaels des Grofien . The renowned Armenist, Seta B. Dadoyan, 
published an invaluable study comparing the Armenian Michael (Jerusalem, 1871) with 
Chabot's French translation of the Syriac original. This article appeared in the journal 
Hash hayagitakan taregirk' [Hask Armenological Yearbook] X(2003-2006), pp. 
257-275. A version of Dadoyan's paper may be read online here: The Chronicle of 
Michael the Syrian and the Armenian Version (1248): a Textual Comparison . 

Among the prominent contemporary scholars studying Michael's Chronicle is Dorthea 
Weltecke. Two of her excellent studies may be downloaded here: The World Chronicle 
by Patriarch Michael the Great (1 126-1 199): Some Reflections , from Journal of 
Assyrian Academic Studies, Vol. XI, No. 2, 1997, pp. 6-29; and Originality and 
Function of Formal Structures in the Chronicle of Michael the Great , from Hugoye: 
Journal of Syriac Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2 (2000), pp. 173-202. File size: 1.8 MB. 
Weltecke's dissertation on Michael's Chronicle, which we have not seen, appeared as Die 
"Beschreibung der Zeiten" von Mor Michael dem Grossen (1126-1199): eine Studie zu 
ihrem historischen und historiographiegeschichtlichen Kontext (CSCO 594/Subs 110), 
(Louvain, 2003). 

Thus far, Michael's information has seen effective, though limited, use in studies devoted 
to a single topic. For example Michael G. Morony's excellent Michael the Syrian as a 
Source for Economic History , from Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2 



(2000), pp. 141-172. File size: 1.6 MB. Another valuable study, by Mark Dickens, 
examines Michael's Chronicle as one of three Syriac sources on the history of the Turks: 
Medieval Syriac Historians' Perceptions of the Turks [MPhil Dissertation in Aramaic and 
Syriac Studies Faculty of Oriental Studies University of Cambridge (2004)]. The 
contemporary scholar who has made the most thorough and systematic use of Michael's 
information is the distinguished historian and Syriac scholar, Matti Moosa. In his massive 
study, Crusades: Conflict between Christendom and Islam (Piscataway, NJ., 2008), 
Moosa introduces information from Michael on almost every page, and discusses its 
accuracy. Several chapters from Moosa's book are available on another page of this 
website and may be read and downloaded there: Selected Writings of Matti Moosa . 

In 201 1 Dr. Moosa completed the first and only full English translation of Michael's 
Syriac Chronicle. Without a doubt, the publication of this important work will be a major 
stimulus for Western historians to incorporate Michael's sometimes invaluable data in 
their studies. We eagerly await its publication. 

[iv] I began the present English translation in the pre-Internet era. Sometime between 
1971 and 1979, my Classical Armenian teacher, Krikor Maksoudian — then an assistant 
professor at Columbia, and now a vardapet or doctor of the Armenian Apostolic 
Church — gave me a Xerox copy of the Jerusalem 1870 edition. Several times over the 
years I picked it up, worked on it awhile, then put it aside again. By 2008, when I 
revisited the translation, I had completed some 220 pages — less than half. By this time, 
the Internet was not only available but full of undreamed-of treasures for completing the 
translation. Suddenly, works which until then had been collectors' items, became freely 
available as pdf files, thanks to Google Books and others: the Jerusalem 1871 "preferred" 
edition of Michael's Chronicle; Langlois' French translation and study; and Chabot's 
multi- volume French translation of the Syriac text. I downloaded this material and, full of 
zeal, decided to "switch" to the 1871 edition and finally complete the translation. It was 
at this point that I became aware that the 1871 text was a fundamentally different 
translation. There was no single paragraph that I could identify to "switch" over to the 
fuller version. Eventually I found a suitable place, based on a description of the same 
event (although the descriptions themselves were different). Thereafter, the translation to 
the end of the Chronicle was based on the 1871 edition, with material from the 1870 
edition being incorporated into the text in italics. After completing the translation, I 
returned to the beginning of the 1871 edition and translated the first 200-odd pages. 
Thus, my hapless readers are presented with three different English translations: (1) a 
composite text based on the 1871 edition, with material from the 1870 edition in italics; 
(2) the first 220 pages of the 1870 edition as a separate file; (3) the first 200 pages of the 
1871 edition as a separate file. I created a Table of Contents for the composite version 



with the aim of improving navigation. 

It is interesting that the Seleucid or Syrian Era of dating (with the first year being 311 
B.C.) is followed in the 1871 edition, while the 1870 edition usually dates medieval 
events according to the Armenian Era (which began in 55 1/552 A.D.). Unfortunately, at 
some point, a copyist of the manuscript group represented in the Jerusalem 1 871 edition 
decided to provide Armenian Era equivalencies for the Syrian Era dates. However, he 
erroneously believed the start of the Syrian Era to be ten years later than it was. As a 
result, these "equivalencies" are (almost) consistently ten years off. We have removed 
them in this edition, relying instead on the Syrian Era dates, which are usually correct, or 
"more correct." Michael's use of the term "orthodox," also briefly should be noted. 
Orthodox to Michael means anti-Chalcedonian, Chalcedonianism being the form of 
Christian dogma adopted by the Byzantine Church and court in the fifth century. The 
damage done over eight hundred years to Orthodox Christians — Armenians, Copts, and 
Syriacs — by Greek Chalcedonians was of such a horrific nature, that Michael, in his day, 
regarded the 1 1th century Saljuq invasions as God's punishment against the Byzantine 
Empire, for its Chalcedonian intolerance. 

[v] Generally "accurate" as parts of Michael's Chronicle may be, we suggest that readers 
enjoy this work — at least in its current edition — as a tale. It is a kaleidoscopic account of 
primate territoriality expressed over about two thousand years and spread across several 
continents. Warfare, confiscation of property, enslavement and killing are constant 
features. Biblical personalities rub shoulders with figures from Greek mythology; 
religions appear, and give birth to others; and unexplained phenomena enliven the skies. 
Modern readers have in this Chronicle an unintended — though most unusual — type of 
literature where event follows event without interval. It is the story of humanity presented 
in a form which may seem cartoonish, but is, nonetheless, "accurate," and the material 
may be appreciated on multiple levels. 



The transliteration used here is a modification of the Library of Congress system for 
online Armenian, substituting x for the LOC's kh, for the thirteenth character of the 
Armenian alphabet (Ju). Otherwise we follow the LOC transliteration, which eliminates 
diacritical marks above or below a character, and substitutes single or double quotation 
marks to the character's right. In the LOC romanization, the seventh character of the 
alphabet (t) appears as e', the eighth (ri) as e", the twenty-eighth (n) as r', and the thirty- 
eighth (o), as o\ 



Robert Bedrosian 

Long Branch, New Jersey 2013 



A Note on Pagination 



The printed editions of these online texts show the page number at the top of the page. In 
the right margin the pagination of the Classical Armenian (grabar) text also is provided. 
We have made the following alterations for the online texts: the page number of the 
printed English editions (Sources of the Armenian Tradition series) appears in square 
brackets, in the text. For example [101] this text would be located on page 101, and 
[102] this text would be on page 102. The grabar pagination is as follows. This sentence 
corresponds to the information found on page 91 of the Classical Armenian text [g91] 
and what follows is on page 92. In other words, the Classical Armenian text delimiters 
[gnn] indicate bottom of page. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



[1] Listen now, pious and scholarly brothers, you students and lovers of God, who seek 
knowledge about events and chronology. With great diligence we have gathered, 
examined, and summarized a multitude of important chronicles, and many well known 
accounts from ecclesiastical and secular documents. We have, for your sake as well as 
ours, selected from them only the most useful, valuable, and rational information, 
rejecting and removing the poisonous, inaccurate, and irrelevant material — the darkness 
of ignorance. Considering the reward from On High which might be accorded to our 
labor, we have left this as a treasure for the Church and as education for the children of 
Zion who come after us [end of grabar (Classical Armenian) text page 1; henceforth 
shown as, for example, gl]. 

For [the early authors] wrote, as it were, in the dawn and noontime and, given the 
philosophy of those times, in an expansive, comprehensive manner. It is our misfortune, 
on the other hand, to live in a period when the day is on the wane, and so [we write] in 
an abbreviated, contracted fashion. Seeing our [era as] blunted by ignorance we 
wanted to dispel the darkness of that ignorance with the breath of [the Holy] Spirit. 
[Thus] we have resolved to pass the rays of the Sun of Justice like a torch to 
[illuminate] our hearts, and to present this book to Zion, our holy mother, to serve as 
education for her children who will hear about forgiveness from On High. Give us your 
prayers, then, so that our labors may bear fruit. 

It is appropriate now to provide you with the names of the historians from whose works 
we have constructed this [Chronicle] . 

We must begin our book with Adam, who was the beginning of humanity, so that our 
building will be made on a firm foundation and be beneficial to reciters and hearers alike. 
But first we must mention the names of the historians from whom we will be gathering 
the material for our structure. 

[2] The Jewish [authors] [Julius] Africanus, Jesu, Hegesippus (Hek'sipos), and Josephus 
wrote [about the period] before the coming of Christ. 

Anianus (Enanos) the priest from Alexandria wrote [about the period] from Adam until 



Emperor Constantine. 

Eusebius Pamphili made a collection of the writings [of others] and [a work] named the 
Ecclesiastical History. 

Sozomen (Zosimus) and Socrates and Theodoret the Heretic began [their accounts] with 
Constantine and continued on until [the time of] Theodosius [II, the Younger]. 

John of Antioch and Djebel, Theodorus the Lecter of Constantinople, and Zachariah, 
bishop of Melitene [Mitylene] wrote [about the period] from Theodosius until Justinian 
the Elder. 

John of Asia wrote [about the period] from Emperor Anastasius to Emperor Maurice 
[g2]. 

Guria (Kawra) the savant wrote [about the period] from Justinian to Heraclius and about 
the entry of the Tachiks [Arabs] into Syria, which occurred in Heraclius' time. 

The blessed Jacob of Edessa made an abstract of all these events. 

The patriarch Dionysius wrote [about the period] from Maurice until Theophilus, 
emperor of the Byzantines, and to Harun, caliph ("emir") of the Tachiks. 

Ignatius, bishop of Melitene, and Saliba (Sliwa), the priest of Melitene, and John of 
Kesoun, and Dionysius of Alexandria, son of Saliba, made rich histories [encompassing 
the period] from Adam until their own times. 

The aforementioned historians wrote in a rich and expansive manner, looking to delight 
the scholarly audience of their day. We, on the other hand, considering our twilight era 
and our laziness, write in an abbreviated manner, passing over [events] lightly. 

Putting forth the same effort [as these authors] , we too, with the aid of God and to the 
glory of God, will weave a work whose fabric is made up of strands drawn from these 
and other [writers] , colored with the vibrant hues of splendid flowers. 

Now studious folk should not despair over chronological dates being sometimes 
imprecise, since the Lord's word is true, namely, that the [precise] knowledge of hours 
and times is reserved for the Father [alone]. For we found many discrepancies in [the 
chronology of] the Septuagint transation [of the Bible] [g3] from what the Syrians 
have — the version that Abgar had translated. This version was checked by Jacob of 
Edessa who pretended to be a Jew so that they not hide the [Scriptural] truth from him. 
[This translation] was corrected by Jacob of Edessa, who went among the Jews 



because of a suspicion that they had not provided accurate [exemplars] of all their 
writings, out of loathing for the gentiles. 

[3] Let us, remaining firm in our faith, begin examining the literature beginning with 
Adam, the first man. And we observe here, right at the outset, some discrepancy in the 
chronology [provided by different] historians. 

For example, according to the Septuagint, Adam was 230 years of age when he fathered 
Seth, and then lived an additional 460 years. His entire life lasted 930 years, until the 
137th year of Mahalalel. He died 60 years before the birth of Enoch. This interval is an 
error which [the translators of the Septuagint] did not realize. But according to the Syriac 
version, Adam was 130 when he fathered Seth and lived an additional 800 years, which 
correctly makes 930 years. Anianus the monk introduces evidence from the Book of 
Enoch which says that 70 years after Adam's departure from Paradise, Adam knew Eve 
and fathered Cain, and seven years later fathered Abel. Fifty-three years after Abel's 
birth, [Cain] slew him. Then Adam and Eve mourned 100 years for Abel and then Seth 
was born as a son of consolation. 

The patriarch Methodius (Madidios) says that 30 years after the expulsion from Paradise, 
[Adam] fathered Cain and his sister, Klimia, and after 30 years he fathered Abel and [g4] 
his sister Beluda. After 130 years Abel was slain, and Seth was born in the 230th years 
of Adam. Thus^rora this example alone you can see the discrepancies among historians. 

From Adam until Jared in the sixth generation comprise 930 years. During this entire 
period there was no king since for Adam, God's handiwork, piety and order in counsel 
were enough for them. After his death, Seth ruled for 178 years. Now in the time of 
Seth, his sons remembered the life [that had existed] in Paradise. They rejected marriage 
and went up on to Mount Hermon (Ahermon) where they lived in chastity. And for this 
reason they were called the Sons of God, and angels. 

Seth, according to the Septuagint, lived for 205 years and fathered Enoch. According to 
the Syriac [translation] this was 150 years. The days of his life were 970 years according 
to [both] the Greek and Syriac [translations]. 

[4] According to Africanus and Anianus, Enoch fathered a son when he was 190 years 
old, [while] according to the Syrians he was 90 years old. He aspired to call upon the 
name of the Lord God and exhorted people to do good deeds. He lived for 905 years. 

According to the Septuagint, Cain at 170 [g5] years of age fathered a son, while 
according to the Syriac he was 70, and he lived for 950 years. 

At 165 years of age Mahalalel fathered a son. This, according to the Septuagint, while 



the Syriac [version] has 65 years. All the years of his life totalled 197 years. 

Jared according to both the Septuagint and the Syriac version fathered a son at 162 years 
of age, while according to the Samaritan version he was 62. And his entire lifetime 
comprised 962 years, [lasting] until the 600th year of Noah. 

In the 40th year of Jared, the 1000th year of the expulsion of Adam [from Paradise] was 
completed. In this year Seth's sons grew weary of the religious lifestyle, descended from 
Mount Hermon and fell into a craving for women. They were 200 [men]. In the same 
period [people] established for themselves a king who was named Samarios. As Anianus 
relates, after descending from the mountain and leaving their angelic behavior, Seth's 
descendants angered their brothers and they would not give them wives. And so [these 
people] went and chose the daughters of Cain as wives. Giants were born from their 
union — impious, harmful killers. And [g6] up until this period there was a fear of God 
and [the people lived in] peace. But now that ended, and they fell into disorder, war, and 
murder. Thus did evil increase upon the earth: prostitution, extortion, and from them, 
wars and murders. 

When the sons of Seth — who held the second climatic zone as their portion — learned 
about this, they also established a king over themselves, 

Alorus from the Chaldean country. He discovered astrology, the signs of the zodiac, and 
[information about] the planets and their revolutions. Chaldeanism was named after him. 
He reigned 98 years. 

He was succeeded by his son Elp'aros, who reigned for 29 years and 255 days. 

He was followed by Almion the Chaldean, from the city of P'udiwilon, who ruled for 
128 years and 80 days. 

The fourth king, Amanon the Chaldean, reigned 118 years and 130 days. 

The fifth [king] was the Chaldean Amakaros, who reigned 177 years and 197 days. 

[5] The sixth [king] was Dinos the Chaldean shepherd, who ruled for 98 years and 230 
days [g7]. 

The seventh [king] was Ewturink'os the Chaldean, who reigned 575 years and 195 days. 

The eighth [king] was Mamp'ios the Chaldean from the city of Anark'on, who reigned 
195 years and 230 days. 



The ninth [king] was O'tiartos from the city of Anark'on, who ruled for 78 years and 330 
days. 

The tenth [king] was [the latter's] son, K'sisot'ros, who reigned 177 years and 195 days. 
The total for all these reigns is 1,183 years and 205 days. And in his day the Flood 
occurred, according to Chaldean writings. 

The time of these kings was 1 183 years, and the period [preceding it] without kings was 
1052 years, making a total of 2,242 years before the Flood, according to the Bible. 

Let us return to our previous narration. Now Enoch was 165 years old [g8] when he 
fathered a son [Methusaleh] according to the Septuagint. But according to the Syriac 
[version] he was 65 years old. He discovered the letters which the Chaldeans use. Having 
pleased God for 200 years, he was transferred to a place which only God, Who moved 
him, knows about. Some say that this was the Paradise from which Adam was expelled. 
Some say that he was transported to Paradise; others, that Paradise was not opened 
but it was a thief [who kidnapped him] . But it appears that [Enoch] was placed in the 
Upper Paradise by Almighty God. When it was opened by the Cross, he descended to 
[the earthly?] Paradise. If this [interpretation] pleases you, it is harmless [to believe 
it]. 

When Methusaleh was 187 years of age, he fathered a son, Lamech, according to the 
Septuagint and Syriac versions. Eusebius and Anianus say that he was 165 at the time, 
which the Samaritans say 162. All the days of his life amounted to 962 years, which was 
the 98th year of Shem. 

Lamech was 188 when he fathered a son, according to the Septuagint, and 182 
according to the Syriac [version], but 53 according to the Samaritan [version]. His 
lifespan was 773 years, until the 69th year of Shem. He died 29 years before his father. 

[6] In the 1,666th year of the expulsion of Adam [from Eden] Noah was born. [He was] 
a righteous man born of [righteous] parents and was kept for 500 years, or, according to 
the Syriac [version], 502 years. In his 358th year the second age was completed [g9]. He 
matured to adulthood and was more pleasing [to God] than the other men of that 
period. He lived alone and did not marry until he was 500 years of age. When [Noah] 
was 58 years old, the second of the world's epochs was completed. Anianus relates 
[about the earlier epoch] that enormous, grotesque giants dwelled in that period, and 
that God abandoned them. Injustice had increased and the world was full of warfare. 
Corpses, in heaps, covered the summits of the mountains and were spread across the 
plains as well, because the spirit of the Lord's power had forsaken them. 



Now the blessed Noah, who had married a woman named Nemzava [or, Nemzara] and 
had fathered his three sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, at the command of God 
constructed a large, three-storied ark as a repository for the seeds of the second 
growth, under the care of the Creator. 

Anianus says that God forsook humanity because of the increase in its sins. They 
increasingly engaged in wars and battles and the world filled up with the bones of the 
slain, which were piled about like hills. The Lord God became angered and sent the 
Flood against them. When Noah had completed his 500th year, the great Flood 
commenced destroying [humanity] on the 27th day of the second month of Iar. The 
waters lasted for a year, until the same day of the same month when by God's command 
Noah, his sons, and their women emerged from the ark. Then Noah offered up clean 
animals to God in a service, and the Lord smelled the sweet fragrance. [Noah] revered 
God with sacrifices and received the blessing which had been given to the first man, as 
well as the prohibition not to shed the blood of rational [beings] nor to eat the blood of 
non-rational [beings] . And then [God] gave as a sign His covenant that He would not 
[again] strike at the entirety of humankind because of its sins, but would [continue] to 
punish the guilty. Noah was [the start of] the third age. Josephus says that the ark landed 
on Mount Ewp'ime' in the Pisidia country, but, truthfully, it landed on the mountains of 
Ararat in Greater Armenia, which is Masis according to [other] texts. / am surprised that 
Josephus states that the ark came to rest on Mount Euphimes in the land of Pisidia, 
since Scripture accurately identifies that mountain as Mount Masis in Greater Armenia. 
After the Flood, Noah lived an additional 350 years. He fathered a son, Maniton, and 
then divided [the world] among his sons. 

Noah's sons were Shem, Japheth, and Ham. The flood occurred in the 98th year of 
Shem, and in the 100th year he fathered a son. Then Noah divided the world among his 
sons. He gave to Shem the land of Persia and of the Syrians and [territory] from Pektura 
from Palestine to India, to R'ino-Korura, which is the Nile, and Bactria. 

[7] To Ham he gave [lands] from the R'ino-Korura to Gadiron. To Japheth he gave 
[territory] from Madirayrow Media to the north of Gadiron. 

The line of Japheth holds [territory] from the source of the Tigris River [glO] which 
divides Media and Persia. The line of Shem dwelled to the east and west of the 
Euphrates and Tigris (Tklaf). The line of Ham holds the Gihon River, which delineates 
their borders. 

The descendants of Japheth are: the Armenians, Macedonians, Medes, Greeks, Latins, 
Iberians/Georgians, and Alans [or, Aghuans]. The descendants of Ham are: the Indians, 
Egyptians, Hittites, Jebusites, Ethiopians who are the Cushites, Girgasites, Amorites, 



Arvadites, Arut'ats'ik', and others. The descendants of Shem are: the At'urats'ik' 
(Assyrians), the Chaldeans who are the Syrians, the Hebrews, Franks, Persians, and 
others. The Shemites hold [territory] from east to west, through the middle [latitude] of 
the earth. The descendants of Japheth hold from the northeast to the west. The 
descendants of Ham hold the south. 

Noah, before the Flood, had observed the wars, murders, and deprivations, and as a 
result he divided up the world among them. And he placed curses so that [his sons] 
would not deprive one another of their portions. 

They say that after the Flood, Noah fathered a son named Mantinos whose allotment 
was on the far side of the sea. [Mantinos] asked his father for some of the bones of 
Adam, which had been kept in the ark and [Noah] gave him [gl 1] the kneebones as a 
souvenir, and then sent him to the west. It was he who developed astrology, discovered 
augury, and the phenomena of omens. Some say that the Madianites are descended 
from him. It is said that Noah also had a daughter, named "Star" [Arm. AstghJ who 
received from her father as inheritance a part of the southfern regions]. 

Now Noah cautioned [his descendants] and applied an oath with curses should they 
ever deprive each other. Rather, they should abide injustice in their own portions [of 
the world] living in fear of God, lest they be killed. Noah survived until the 380th year 
ofEber, and then he died. 

[8] Shem fathered Arp'aksad when he was 130 years of age, according to the 
Septuagint. According to the Syriac [version] he was 108. At 135 years Arp'aksad 
fathered Cain. Eusebius does not mention this Cain nor his times. It was this Cain who 
increased the deviation of the Chaldeans, witchcraft, and divination by the stars. His 
descendants worshipped him as a god and erected a statue to him during his lifetime. 
This became the beginning of idol worship. [Cain] built a city and named it Harran after 
his son. Luke mentions him in the Gospel. Moses does not mention him for some reason. 
It was Cain who increased the errors of the Chaldeans, discovering magic [or, 
witchcraft] , and demonstrating how to tell [a person 's] destiny and fate based on the 
location of stars and the movement of the planets. His children regarded him as a god, 
worshipped him, and erected an image/idol of him during his lifetime. Thus began the 
great evil of idolatry. [Cain] constructed the city of Harran, which he named after his 
son, Harran. The Evangelist Luke [3.36] mentions [Cain], since he had come to 
abolish idol worship, though Moses does not. 

Arp'aksad lived 465 years or, according to the Syriac [version], 438 years. Cain was 139 
years of age when he fathered Salah (Sagha). Salah lived 130 years and fathered Eber, 
and lived for 460 years. According to the Syriac [version] [Salah] was 30 years of age 



when he fathered [Eber], lived 433 years and then died. 

When Eber was 133 years old [gl2] he fathered Peleg and then Joktan (Ektan), 
according to the chronicler Anianus. According to the Syriac [version] he was 34 and 
lived 343 years. There are those who say that the Hebrews were named after him. In the 
120th year of Peleg, the world was divided up [again] due to the increase in population. 

At that time the patriarchs of the world gathered together, took counsel, and decided to 
go East to search for the original place of Adam's habitation. But behold, a sea 
separated them from Eden. And then they recalled the great Flood and that the water 
had resulted from it. They were horrified, since their own deeds were the same as those 
which brought on the Flood. For they had transgressed the oath [they had made] with 
Noah the righteous and brought on the curses by altering the boundaries which had 
been set for them. Then they said to one another: "Let us not carelessly fall prey to the 
same punishment. The land will be broken again and we will perish in the same 
waters. " And so they turned back and went to the Shinar country to the wide plain of 
K'ghane' where they laid the foundation for a tower as they sought some means of 
salvation from a sudden flood. 

[9] At the beginning of the days of Reu they commenced building the Tower in the 
Shinar country. Now the giant Nimrod hunted game for the builders and fed them. The 
principals were Lamsour [Assur], Hayk, and Nimrod. They built for 40 years, fearing 
Noah's curses for they had violated the oath and were liable to his anathemas, having 
deprived one another of land and water. And so they conceived this plan [of building the 
Tower] to survive. But then the Lord descended and divided their languages, turning one 
language into 72 [different languages]. Many of the builders were killed, and some claim 
that Nimrod too died in the collapse. However we have confirmed that it was only 
subsequently that [Nimrod] was slain by Hayk, son ofTorgom, son ofTiras, son of 
Gomer, son ofJapheth. Hayk had refused to make an image of Bel and regard it as 
God, and so Bel came against him with a great multitude. And Hayk killed him. Now 
when the Tower collapsed, language became confused. God separated the one 
[universal] language into 72 [languages] . The line ofJapheth had 15; the line of Ham, 
32; and the line ofShem, 25. And each man went by his own road. Nimrod built the 
cities ofErech (Areg), Nisibis (Mtsbin), and Edessa (Ur'ha). 

Now it happened that Eber, an old and devout man, had not joined [the Tower builders] 
and, they say, that the original language of Adam was preserved by him. And he named 
that country Babylon, which translated as "ruin" in the Chaldean language, which is 
Syriac. The blessed Jacob, Ephrem, Basil, and Gregory Nazianus attest that the language 
of Adam remained with Eber. The blessed Jacob of Edessa, John of Itruria, and others 
say that Adam's language which [gl3] remained with Eber is the one which the Jews 



now use and not the Chaldean of the Asoris. But I am surprised how it was hidden from 
them that the first of the line of Israel was Jacob and when they crossed the sea they then 
were named Hebrews. [The naming] was not from Eber, since Ebrayets'i translated "they 
crossed over" and when they crossed the sea they adopted a new language as well as 
other gifts, according to the Psalm which says: "He [Jacob], leaving the land [gl4] of the 
Egyptians, heard a language which he did not understand" [Psalms 81.5]. The original 
language belonged to the Chaldeans from whom the Israelites descend and they held that 
[language] in antiquity until they adopted a new one, abandoning the old one and no 
longer using it. 

When Peleg was 130 years old he fathered Reu. According to the Syriac [version] he 
was 30. He lived 343 years. According to the Syriac [version] he lived 339 years. 

From the Flood until the confusion of languages totalled 660 years according to the 
Septuagint and the Syrac [versions]. 

[10] At the age of 132, Reu fathered Serug. According to the Syriac [version] he was 52. 
He lived 339 years, or 239 according to the Syriac [version]. In this period Nimrod built 
three cities: Areg, Edessa (Ur'ha), and Nisibis (Mtsbin). Now after the dispersion from 
the Tower, the sons of Ham came to the country of the Phoenicians and Lebanon. Seing 
the fertility and beauty of the country they liked it and settled there, not going to their 
own allotment to the west of Egypt. For the descendants of Ham, on returning from the 
dispersal [that resulted from the destruction] of the Tower came to the country of 
Palestine by the mountains ofCarmel and Lebanon. When they saw its plenty and its 
beauty, they forcibly took it from the line ofShem. They refused to go to their allotted 
[lands] , and settled where they were, thereby again invoking the curse of Patriarch 
Noah. Thus, for a second time, they inherited Noah's curse; first [they had been cursed] 
for laughing at him, and second for changing their boundaries [gl5] from those set as 
their portions. 

In the 74th year of Reu the third era was completed, which is 3,000 years, and in his 
70th year the Tower was built. After 40 years of construction, [the people] were 
dispersed throughout the world. The world was filled with wars and whoever triumphed 
erected a statue to the victory and worshipped it. In the 1 10th year of Reu, the Tower 
fell. After the Flood, Nimrod ruled first in Babylon and he ruled in the 40th year of Reu. 
When a fierce whirlwind sent by God destroyed the Tower, Nimrod was killed in the 
collapse. He ruled for 69 years. As Menander the Mage and Josephus in his second book 
relate, [Nimrud's] crown was woven and not made of metal. 

Now when Peleg died, the sons of his brother Joktan observed that they [gl6] had not 
received their legacy and they were angry. They set up three leaders for themselves: 



Saba, Ophir, and Havila. They cleverly made weapons — swords, bows, armor, helmets, 
shields — and started to defeat everyone who fled before them. In order to withstand their 
depredations and survive, [people] began to construct fortresses and strongholds. This 
was the start and cause of weaponry. After many [people] were defeated by them, they 
beseeched the sons of Joktan to take their legacy wherever they pleased and to end the 
warfare against them. Saba took the incense-producing country which was called Saba 
after his own name. Ophir took the land of gold mines which is India. Havila took the 
land of precious stone which was named after him Evilath. 

Serug was 130 when he fathered Nahor according to the Septuagint, and 100 years less 
according to the Hebrew and Syriac [editions], [calculating] from the time of the Flood 
to this point. Serug lived 330 years. In his day people learned to make dahekans and 
money with the names of [their] kings on them. Serug built [the city of] Seruch in his 
name. 

[11] In this period there appeared the Amazons from the line of Torgom. Here is how 
that happened. There was a woman who was heir [gl7] to Torgom's kingdom, and she 
did not want to marry. She arose and laid waste many lands. There was some treachery 
in her army which angered her to the point that she killed the male soldiers and created 
an army of women. Once a year, a few of them went and mingled with the men of 
another country. The females born [from these liasons] were allowed to live, while the 
males were put to death. Seeing this, [armies] assembled from the lands of eleven 
kingdoms and destroyed the stronghold of that kingdom which was the city of Ilium in 
the north. Thus ended the disorder and men took power as is the norm throughout the 
world, and male children born of those women lived and filled up the land. 

Around this time there arose the Amazons, a force of women warriors. Here is how it 
happened. As the kingdom of Torgom lacked a male heir, the crown went to a valiant 
and brilliant woman who refused to take a husband. At the head of a powerful army she 
triumphantly devastated and enslaved many lands, and no one was able to withstand 
her. But then a conspiracy arose within the army to dislodge her from [rule of] the 
kingdom. She, however, became apprised of this and, one by one, destroyed all the men 
in the army, creating an [entirely] female force. She continued to be successful and 
took over many lands. She separated out the males, allowed intercourse only once a 
year, then separated the males again. As for the male [children] born, some were killed 
and some were given to the men [to raise] . It became a powerful state, and conquered 
a city in the northern part [of Asia Minor] called Ilium (Alio'n). Now all the kings of 
the country were harassed [by the Amazon state] and grew weary of it. And so the 
kings of eleven kingdoms united, went against it, and conquered the stronghold of that 
kingdom, thereby removing this abomination from the land. And the men took over rule 
of the kingdom, as was the norm in all other countries. 



Forty years after the death of Nimrod and the destruction of the kingdom of Ham in 
Babylon, the Chaldean Kambiwros reigned 56 years in the time of Serug. He built the 
city of Shosh, which they call Isfahan. In that period the making of weapons spread, and 
there started the enslavement and sale of people. In the 70th year of Serug, the Chaldean 
King Kambiwros warred [gl8] against the Kalatu people, defeated them, and they went 
up into the mountains. Serug taught Nahor the Chaldean doctrine of sorcery and 
divination by the star signs. Kambiwros ruled for 85 years. Following him, the third to 
rule as king in Babylon was Samiros in the 106th year of Serug. [Samiros] ruled for 72 
years. He warred with the Greeks, the Franks, and the Canaanites and put them under 
taxation. He built many cities in the land of the Chaldeans and Parthians and it was he 
who began [to designate] weights and measures. It was he who put patterns and images 
on cloth, established the making of silk, and all sorts of dyes. This is what Samatros the 
mage said about him in his history, that he had three eyes and a horn. [Samiros] was a 
brave giant and removed the Nimrodians from the Chaldeans and destroyed their line. 
When Nahor was [gl9] 79 years of age he fathered Tera according to the Septuagint. 
According to the Syriac [version] he was then 29 years old. He lived 201 years according 
to the Septuagint, and 148 years according to the Syriac [version]. In the 25th year of 
Nahor according to the Septuagint, the trials of Job occurred. 

[12] Now let us return to our narration beginning with the series ofmonarchs of 
Babylon, where Nimrod reigned during the first 69 years. His crown was woven [from 
cloth], as Menander the mage wrote, and not forged [from metal] . After his death, the 
Chaldean Kambiros ruled in the 56th year of Serug. It was he who built the city of 
Sho'sh, called Isfahan, 40 years after the death of Bel. [Kambiros] also began the 
practise of selling captives, and of mining gold and silver. He died after ruling for 85 
years. Samir succeeded him in the 106th [or 190th] year of Serug, and ruled for 72 
years. [Samir] , of the line ofShem, warred against the Greeks and the Franks. He also 
warred against the descendants of Ham and the Galatians, forcibly expelling them from 
the mountains, and placing the line of Ham under taxation. [Samir] also built many 
cities in the land of the Chaldeans and the Parthians. It was he who began using 
weights and measures, dyeing, painting and decorating of temples, and money and 
dahekans with his name stamped on them, fabric weaving, and fabrics with patterns 
[or, pictures] on them as the Mage Samandros noted. [Samandros] also said that 
[Samir] had three eyes and horns, was a powerful, giagantic personage, and expelled 
the line of Nimrod from Chaldea. In the 25 th year of Nahor, the trials of Job took place, 
as the Caananite Arodh relates: "There was among the sons ofJoktan a wealthy man 
named Job, who fought seven times with satan, and, by the power of God, had victory 
over him. " Joseph the scribe says that Job's testing took place in the 90th year of 
Nahor. Others believe that this story concerns Yobab, son ofZareh, of the line of Isaiah 
[Genesis 36.33], and took place 500 years before Moses. Now in the 7th year ofTerah, 



Arphaxad became king in Babylon, and ruled for 18 years. After this, rule of the 
Chaldean kingdom was interrupted for 7 years until Belus (Vilos) ascended. This 
[interregnum] was due to the fact that the Chaldeans, Assyrians, and Medes were 
battling each other for the kingdom. Finally the Assyrian Belus ended [Assyria's] 
submission to the Babylonians, took power, and ruled all of Asia for 62 years. Now the 
city of Assur is located near Mosul, and the land was called Assyria because it was 
originally fortified by Ashur. A certain Xarus ruled in Babylon and was slain by Terah 's 
brother, Saheron, because, it is said, he fashioned a golden statue ofNachor, chief 
priest of the idols ofCaanan. In this period Damascus was built by Marigos [or, 
Marbios] the Hittite, 20 years before the birth of Abraham. Josephus states that 
"Damascus was built by Hosea, son of Aram. " The historian Andronikos calculated 
that 1081 years elapsed from the Flood to the time of Abraham; 3035 years [elapsed] 
from Adam; and 431 years [elapsed] from the allottment of lands to the time of 
Abraham. At this point Greek and Syrian calculations coincide. 

[13] [The editors have inserted a passage from Bar Hebraeus' Chronography here 
because of a lacuna. We omit it.] [g20-21] 

...And Abraham was 17 years of age when he willingly began to seek God. In that period 
the wrath of God was visited on the Babylonians. For birds called magpies came and ate 
up all their fields. Everyone was so distraught by the small amount reaped from what 
they sowed, that they had to [try to] chase the birds off. Now Abraham tended his 
father's fields and wearied of chasing these birds, and so he sought aid from all the 
so-called gods. But he received no help. He appealed to the sun, moon, stars, and the sky 
to no avail. Then he said: "O, unattainable God, supreme over all, creator of these birds 
and the fields, reveal yourself to me and chase them away." Immediately the birds 
departed and did not return to those fields. At that time the grace of God's mercy dawned 
in [g22] the heart of Abraham, and he said: "I have found God, the creator of all 
creation." And Abraham persisted in beseeching God to appear to him. 

Nahor died when Abraham was born. Apparently the name of Abraham's mother was 
Milcah (Malk'a). After Abraham's birth, Sarah, the daughter of Terah, was born from 
the woman named Armut', and not from Abraham's mother as he himself told Pharaoh 
and Abimelich. Now when Abraham was 15 [or, 17] years of age he began to seek God, 
in this manner. The land ofChaldea was fertile and fruitful, and the population, 
engorged [with wealth], occupied themselves with astrology, sorcery, and other vain 
pursuits. Now when God saw them thus wallowing in sin, He sent chastisement to them 
in the form of multitudes of jackdaws which ate up the ripening crops and destroyed the 
vineyards. And this happened for many years on end. The Chaldeans, consequently, 
tilled and sowed less, and retained men to ward off the birds. And they made sacrifices 



to their gods, and made pledges, yet their sorcerers and witches were unable to find a 
way out. Abraham, who was 17 years of age, guarded his father's fields and grew 
weary from his labors of hunting the birds. And, sighing, he implored all the false 
gods — the sun, moon, stars, and the graven images — to give him some respite, but he 
was not heard. Then one night he realized that the chastisement was from God and that 
it was not by chance, since it lasted for such a long period. Nor was it from the false 
gods since they would have acceded to the wishes of their worshippers once they 
received their due. [Abraham] had studied astrology under the direction of his father, 
who knew the knowledge of his ancestors. Thus Abraham examined this art and 
realized that all the celestial spheres and the stars depending on them had some 
[other] internal motivator. Then a ray of light sent by Almighty God penetrated his 
heart and he acknowledged that there was some unknown God moving and regulating 
everything, [Who was also] the creator of everything, Who had been forgotten by His 
own creations. It is because His will is not being done by us that his vengeance has 
been wrought on us. Throughout the night [Abraham] confirmed [the veracity of] this 
[discovery] . When day broke, he went to the fields, fell on his knees, raised up his arms 
and exclaimed: "O, Thou unknown God, creator and motivator of all, creator and 
motivator of these birds, deliver us from them and reveal Yourself and Your will to us. " 
As soon as these words were uttered, the birds disappeared from all fields in the city, 
and Abraham said: "Greatness and glory in the highest heaven, behold, I have found 
God. Besides You, there is no other god, Who quickly heeds [our prayers] . Goodness 
and power are Yours, and Your glory fills the world. " Then Abraham returned to his 
home and told his father [what had happened] . They did not believe him, but he did not 
cease praying to the true God so that He more openly manifest Himself. 

[14] At that time King Belus (Vilos) died and his son Ninus ruled for 52 years, being the 
second king of the Assyrians. He constructed Nineveh and transferred the seat of his 
kingdom to Nineveh from Assur. He fashioned large idols of silver and gold for his father 
Belus' [statues], and had him worshipped. In this period were built R'about, and R'asan, 
and K'aghane', and then Jerusalem was built. It was during his reign that the cities 
Rehoboth [Arbil] , Rasan [Ras'ain] , and Kghane' [Kalnai/Salik/Seleucia] were built. 
And during this time Jerusalem was built by Melchisedek the Canaanite, who was said 
to be the son of the Canaanite king known as Melk'i. Now his father wanted to sacrifice 
him to the idols. But when God saw the power that was hidden in that child — who, 
indeed, was worthy of being a model for His Only-Begotten — He demolished the pagan 
temple, burying the parents and the priests, and took the child away to a deserted spot, 
where he was nourished by the care of God. He became a wondrous priest of God and 
a king of the country and built a city named Ureshghem, which translates "Village of 
Peace". Abraham burned the idol house of his father which was in Edessa (Ur'ha) and 
his brother Haran (Ar'an) tried to save those idols from the flames, but was himself 



burned to death in them. 

Abraham reached the age of 60, growing more pleasing to God. And when God heard 
his lengthy and tireless prayers and observed his unshakable faith, He said to him: 
"Leave that country of yours and I will give you that part of the inheritance of your 
father Shem that was deprived to you, and thereafter I will advise you according to 
your need. And I will give that country to you and to your descendants in perpetuity. " 
Abraham heard this and told his father, who wanted to arise and go with him. They 
reached Harr an from Ur of the Chaldeans. It was there [in Ur] that they had halted, 
and received dwelling places and property, and it was there that his father erected 
idols. Abraham set afire the temple where the idols had been installed. Now his brother, 
Haran, wanted to extinguish the flames, and burned to death in the presence of his 
father. Now some say that matters occurred differently, and that God killed [Haran] . 

[15] In the 60th year of Abraham [g23], [Abraham] and his father Terah and Nahor his 
brother and Lot son of Haran arose and left Ur'ha of the Chaldeans and came and came 
and dwelled in Harran for 14 years. At God's command Abraham arose and went and 
dwelled in the land of Canaan. When Abraham was 85 years of age he went to Egypt 
and fathered Ishmael by his maidservant Hagar. Ishmael was 138 in the 60th year of 
Jacob. 

Abraham was 75 years of age when God again commanded him to go to the land of 
Canaan. He left his clan in Harran. Some say that he had a wife other than Sarah and 
a son named Ovreste', who did not want to accompany him. But [Abraham] , 
unswerving to the command of the Almighty, arose and departed. However, there is a 
lack of certainty in the narration, since his father begat him at the age of 70 and died at 
205. Step'annos says that it was after his father's death that he moved, when Abraham 
was 75 years old. This is a surprising [assertion] since Abraham was 135 years of age 
[at the time] . The Samaritan [version] correctly states that Terah was 70 years of age 
when he fathered Abraham, and that he lived for an additional 75 years. Moreover, 
some say that Sarah was descended from Eok'an, and a daughter of Haran. But how 
could Haran have been Sarah's father, ten years earlier, when Scripture clearly notes 
that Abraham was ten years older than Sarah? We believe that the way we have 
reckoned [this chronology] is correct. After Abraham had come into the land of the 
Caananites, he entered Egypt when he was 85 years of age. There he fathered Ishmael 
from the Egyptian woman Hagar. Sarah was untouched by Pharaoh so that she could 
bear [a son] like unto Our Lord, from a chaste womb. 

King Ninus, terrified of his wife — who was much harsher than he— fled into obscurity, 
some say to Cyprus, where he died. 



In this period Ninus' wife, Shamiram, ruled over the Assyrians for 41 years. She built the 
teh, hills of earth piled up to make fortresses. But we have found a different origin for 
the teh, namely, that due to the increase in idol worship everywhere, God sent a wind 
storm to earth which buried the idols here and there and heaped earth on them. To this 
day devs inhabit them and the idols are tormented there. Also to this day devs and 
witches ply their trade near the teh and sounds coming from the devs are audible. 

[16] Thus did [Ninus'] wife, Semiramis ("Shamiram") take the crown and rule over the 
Assyrians. She reigned for 46 years, though other say 12 [or, 52 years] . She fashioned 
earthen mounds, called tUs as a precaution against [flooding caused by] rain, and for 
defense. However, we have discovered another explanation for these tUs. It is said that 
when idol-worship had increased throughout the world, God became furious with the 
demons and caused hurricanes which shook the earth to its foundations, and 
demolished cities and homes. Here and there the storms buried the idols and the 
demons under these earthen mounds. The demons dwell in them, being tormented to 
this day. And we hear that witches practise their arts especially near these mounds, and 
that the thunderous sounds of the demons arise therefrom. 

Abram, now renewed with knowledge of God and endowed with a new life by revelation, 
was called Abraham, while his wife, Sarai, was [now] called Sarah. [These names] 
mean "excellent father" and "noble woman. " 

When Abraham was 99 years of age, he was circumcised. When he was 100 he fathered 
Isaac, in accordance with God's promise [g24]. The years of their servitude in Egypt was 
430 according to the Evangelist. Then began the period of their wandering, in the 77th 
year of Abraham, when [Abraham] arose from his father's house at the Lord's command. 
In his 1 15th year [Abraham] went to sacrifice Isaac. Isaac at the time was 1 5 years old, as 
we believe, though others say 30. His father Abraham was 75 years of age when Jacob 
was 35. In Isaac's 9th year, Abraham was informed that "your brother Nahor has 
fathered children." Now when Abraham was 134 and Isaac was 37, Sarah died at 127 
years of age. It is completely untenable that, as some say, Sarah died instantly when she 
heard the bad news that her son had been sacrificed. Abraham was 175 years of age, 
and Jacob was 3 7 [or, 35] years of age, when [Abraham] passed, full of goodness, and 
pleasing to God. Then Abraham took Kendura as a wife. Abraham at this time was 142 
years old. Isaac at 38 took Rebeccah to wife and she became pregnant at age 61. 
Rebeccah had gone to Melk'isedek with prayers to beseech God to tell her why there was 
contention between the children of her womb [g25]. God told [Melk'isedek], who, taking 
God's command informed her so that she would know: "Two nations and two people 
which are in your womb shall be divided. One shall be stronger than the other, and the 
elder shall serve the younger" [Gen. 25.24]. Anianus says that Rebeccah gave birth in the 



60th year of Isaac, while others say in the 100th year. The elder was Esau, who is 
Edom — from whom descend the Edomites, who are the Franks. The younger [child 
born] was Jacob, from whom the Israelites descend. 

[17] During this period, Semiramis was levelling the ground in Assyria [or, Asia] 
because of floods. Some claim that Abraham was involved with this labor. This was also 
the era of the [birth of the] kingdom of the Sicyonians. Similarly, a certain Kre's ruled 
as king over the Cretans, giving his name to that country; and Pyrrha, also called 
Peloponnese, [ruled and] gave his name to that country. Ishmael was born when 
Abraham was 88 years of age. The Arabs, Saracens, Ishmaelites, and Tachiks are 
named after him. Isaac wed Rebecca when he was 40, and she conceived when he was 
60. 

In this period, the Achaeans were ruled by Inachus, whom the Egyptians called Isis and 
Sebusis. This woman [IoJ was the daughter ofHur and gave the name Inachus to the 
river Argos. 

In the 75th year of Isaac, Apis was in the 17th year of his reign in Egypt. Some called 
him a god, some called [his name] Serapis. The 180th year of Isaac was the 3 1st year 
of Levi. 

Abimelik, the Adarite [or, from Adar/Gerar (Genesis 20.1)] king of the Philistines, was 
their friend. When Isaac was 137 [or, 135] years of age, Jacob went to Haran, with the 
blessing of his father. 

Abraham died when Isaac was 76 years old. When Jacob was 1 5 years of age Isaac was 
180, this being the 31st year of Levi. At this time Abimele'k' was king of the Chaldeans. 
He is Gerera of the Phillistines, a friend of Abraham's house. When Jacob was 77 years 
old, in the 137th year of Isaac, he went to Harran with his father's blessing. Jacob was 
147 years of age in the 12th year of Kahag and died 232 years after the time that God 
had promised to give his sons their portion of the world. He came to Egypt at 17. Now 
Esau took a wife from the daughters of the Canaanites and when he knew [g26] that this 
did not please his father, he married Ishmael's daugher Margaye't'. 

In this period Hamor (Emovr), Sechem's father, built the city of Sechem, which he 
named after his son Sechem who had kidnapped Dinah when she was 12 years old. Then 
the sons of Jacob, because of jealousy, killed their maternal uncle with 3,000 people. 
Esau dwelled in Se'ir. When Jacob was 80 years old he took Leah to wife, and at 85 she 
bore him Ruben. When he was 87 he fathered Simeon (Shawmon) and, at 89, he 
fathered Levi. When Levi was three and Jacob was 9 1 , he fathered Joseph. When Levi 
was 10, Jacob went up to his father Isaac. When Levi was 20, Joseph was sold. When 



Levi was 31, Isaac died at 180 years of age. Following the death of Isaac, the sons of 
Esau hired the sons of Amnion, Moab, and Aram and they came to Hebron and warred 
with Jacob and his sons. Jacob was infuriated and slew Esau with an arrow, while those 
who had come against him fled. When Jacob was 1 30 years old he went down into 
Egypt, in the second year of the famine and the ninth year of Joseph's reign [g27]. 
According to the Syriac [version] 70 people entered Egypt, while according to the 
Septuagint and Saint Stephen the proto-martyr, 75 people [went to Egypt]. The reason 
for this [discrepancy] is as follows: the Syriac [version] regards Joseph and his two sons 
as one while the Septuagint counts the son of Joseph's son, though he had not been born 
yet. 

[18] Levi was 46 years old when he fathered Kohath (Kahad). Some place Job's 
tribulations in this period. When Kohath was 60 years old he fathered Amram, and he 
lived 133 years, until the third year of Moses. At 70 years of age, Amram fathered 
Moses. In the 35th year of the reign of Joseph, Aghaparos ruled as king of the Assyrians. 
In the 38th year of Joseph's reign, K'ebron ruled as king of the Egyptians. Amram died in 
Egypt 13 years before the Exodus of Israel. He lived for 135 years. Joseph was 110 years 
old, and died in the sixth year of Amram, 286 [years] after God's promise. After his 
death, his people entered into servitude. In this period Amnap't'is ruled in Egypt for 43 
years. It was he who began to drown the children of Israel in the Nile River. 

Moses died in the 70th year of Amram, and the 350th year of God's promise. He had 
been thrown into the river [as a child]. The daughter of the king T'ermat'is — whom the 
Hebrews call Maria, whom K'ant'ara, king of the city of Memphis took as a wife — took 
Moses out of the water and, when he was 10 years of age, [she] gave him to Ane's and 
Amre's, who schooled him. 

Now it happened that Moses, who had been thus thrown [into the waters] , was raised 
by Thermutis, daughter of the Pharaoh whom the Hebrews call Mar'i, who was the wife 
ofKanthur, king of the city of Memphis. Moses was saved from the water in the 350th 
year of God's promise, and, when ten years old, he was given to study with Yanes and 
Yamres, sons of the Chaldean sorcerer Barkobas (Barisbay). They had been driven 
there [to Egypt] for stealing the boys of their country and sacrificing them to the idols 
which had been erected in the name of their father. They were well versed in Chaldean, 
Greek, and especially Egyptian lore, and Mar'i, the queen of queens, obliged them to 
instruct Moses. 

When Moses was 22 years old he became a ruler [or, prince] and constructed the city 
ofHermopolis, which was also called by the name of Moses' patron, Mar'ia. 

In this period the Ethiopians, who had been tributary to the Egyptians, came to 



themselves, rebelled, and went against the Egyptians whom they found unprepared. 
Among the captives they seized and carried off was the aforementioned mother of 
Moses. Then Moses became a general of Egypt, warring with the Ethiopians for ten 
years. He went against them over a desert full of snakes, with the help of gazelles and 
storks, since [the snakes] could not evade them. After 10 years he took Ethiopia and 
their queen, Thesbas, as well as [retrieving] his mother, Mar'i, and returned to Egypt 
with a reputation for valor and bravery. But Mar'i 's husband was envious of him and 
wished to kill him, though he was wary of his wife. 

[19] When Mar'i had died, Moses buried her. It was then that Mar'i's husband sent 
Xanthus, a persecutor of the Israelites, to kill Moses. However, Moses anticipated him, 
killed [Xanthus] , and fled into Midian (Madiam). When Moses had fled, Ane's and 
Amre's took the children of Israel 15 days' journey into the desert where they 
constructed a paradise for 17 years and very securely fortified it. Upon the completion 
of this work, [Ane's and Amre's] selected 980 innocent children from among the sons of 
Israel, sacrificed them to the demons, invited the leader of the demons to the sacrifice, 
and then established [them] as protectors of the paradise. Thereafter, the demons 
obeyed the sorcerers regarding the working of talismans and all other such artifices. 

In that period lived Prometheus — he who, it is said, created mankind, since he 
vanquished ignorance with knowledge. 

Moses then went among the Cushites, to Raguel, son ofDadan, son ofJoktan, 
descendants ofKethura. [Moses] married his daughter [Zipporah] and fathered two 
children by her when he was 40 years of age. It is said that in this period As clepiades 
the physician revealed his skill, and Atlas, brother of Prometheus, the astronomer 
supposedly held up the sky. Euripides says that [Atlas] was a mountain higher than the 
clouds. 

And it was in this period, they say, that the Ethiopians crossed the Indus River and went 
and dwelled [g44] near Egypt. The Curetes and Corybantes created a Dance with 
weapons. 

They say that at the time of Deucalion, Thessaly experienced a flood; at the time of 
Phaeton, Ethiopia was burned; and that many other disasters occurred here and there, 
as Plato relates. Some say that [in this period] Cecrops ruled in Atke, which is Attica, 
although others say that he ruled in Egypt initially and then in Attica. The Greeks claim 
that he built Athens and named it after his wife. Supposedly he had two natures, [some 
say] because he was so tall, others because he spoke two languages, Egyptian and 
Greek. [Cecrops] also ruled [part of] Asia Minor, giving his name to [the district of] 



Cappadocia. 

[20] It was under [Cecrops] that the olive tree made its appearance in the Acropolis at 
Athens, thus engendering [that] legend. It was he who called Aramazd, Zeus, and was 
the first to use the ox as a sacrificial animal. In the same year, Deucalion began to rule 
as king in the area around [Mt.] Parnassus. 

It was from Hellenus, one of the sons of Deucalion, that the Hellenes, the Greeks, took 
their name. Similarly, the Atticans took their name from Acta. 

In the 25th [or, 420th] year of the promise to Abraham, the city of Corinth was built. It 
is sometimes called Ephra. Eusebius says that Cronos the Athenian had a daughter 
named Atis, and that the land of Attica bears her name. 

From the entry into Egypt until the Exodus 215 years had elapsed. In Moses' 22nd year 
the king began to harass Israel by the building of a city. In the 28th year of Moses they 
built the city of Hermopolis. The Cushites made war with the Egyptians, conquered 
them, and took captive Hr'ak'usa, Moses' adoptive mother. And they married her. In 
Moses' 38th year Yesu, son of Nawea was born, and Moses built Hermopolis. He warred 
[g29] with At'iubas, king of the Phillistines for 10 years, defeated him, and retrieved [his 
adoptive mother] Hr'ak'usa from him. Now K'amp'ara, T'ermotis' husband, had a grudge 
against Moses and wanted to kill him. He was angry because of [Moses'] success, but 
was unable to accuse him [of anything] because of T'ermot'is, who was Moses' adoptive 
mother, and whom he had brought back from captivity. But as soon as his wife died, he 
sent Xanthus (K'sant'is) to kill Moses. Moses learned about this and quickly killed him. 
Then he himself fled, going to Arabia, to Raguel of the Midianites. 

Joktan was the issue of Abraham and Kendura, Dadan was fathered by Joktan, Raguel 
was fathered by Dadan, Yot'or was fathered by Raguel, and Yobab was fathered by 
Yotor. Then Moses took to wife Yotor's daughter, Zipporah. Moses was then 40 years 
old. 

[21] In this period the physician Asclepiades appeared [as did] Cecrops who ruled Itik in 
Egypt. Concerning [g30] him, some say that he ruled in the first year of Othniel. The 
Greeks say that he built Athens and named it after his wife, Athena. It was he who took 
Greek writing from the Egyptians since he knew both languages. He also brought the 
inhabitants of the city of Memphis and settled them in the city of Athens. And thus did 
knowledge germinate in the northern regions. 

Now when Moses was 78 years of age, God appeared and spoke to him on Mount Sinai. 



In this period in Egypt, P'sanos ruled as king. He fathered a son and named him Ramesis. 
It was he who caused the Israelites great harm. Also, it was he who gave Egypt its second 
name, since previously it had been called Aria. It was in the 430th year of God's promise, 
which was the 80th year of Moses, that [Moses] merited the visitation from God and 
when he received the command to take Israel out of Egypt. Then did the Hebrews [g3 1] 
cross through the sea on dry land, while King P'sanos and his troops drowned. Eusebius 
says that the drowned Pharaoh was named Kanak'aris and not P'sanos. As for those who 
did not follow after Pharaoh, the reason for their salvation was that they were involved in 
work that God had shown them. 

In this period astrology and witchcraft entered Persia, while in Athens a temple to Apollo 
was built called the Areopagite which is the house of judgement. In this period the city of 
Corinth was built. It previously had been called Buria. In the same period the sages 
P'iwnik and Erakle's appeared. There was a land [of Cyprus] which was called Aliu 
before being named Cyprus, and from it Cappadocia was named. Egypt was then struck 
by earthquake(s) and for seven months [people] did not dare to enter their homes or 
cities, but lived out in the open in tents. Now after the drowning [during the Exodus], 
Ak'aros ruled as king in Egypt. Six years after the Exodus of Israel [g32], Cronos ruled 
as king over the Athenians. His daugher's name was Atike' after whom the land of Attica 
was named. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



[22] Moses was 70 years of age when he merited a visitation from God. For 10 years 
he delayed going to Egypt, but he went at age 80, compelled by God. This was the 
430th year of the promise made by God, in the 75 th year of Abraham. It was the 205th 
year since the arrival of Jacob in Egypt. And [the Israelites] had been in Egypt for 225 
years. Four hundred years had passed since God's command to slay the Egyptians. 
And the sons of Israel did not want to be saved; rather, they rejected their savior. Now 
Moses had delayed for 10 years, for this was God's decision. Going to Egypt, Moses 
punished Egypt with ten blows [plagues] , in exchange for the 10 trials of Abraham and 
for the 124 years that the Israelites were tormented. 

[The word] Egypt translates as "iron furnace. " [Egypt] was originally built up by 
Mizraim, son ofKush, son of Canaan, and called Msr after his name. Subsequently it 
was called Aria, after Ariane. And then King Rameses named it Egypt after the Nile 
River which [then] had that name, [and] is self generating. Now the name of the 
monarch with whom Moses battled was P'le'sios [or, P'e'sios] , although others call him 
Kanak'aris. 

When the Egyptians drank blood [instead of water] , they became disgusted and went to 
Gesem to request water. Yet as soon as [the water] was given, it turned into blood. 
Then they tried to take the water into their mouths from the lips of the the Israelites, but 
it turned to blood as they swallowed it. Similarly, nothing could dispell the darkness 
that settled upon them, neither fire nor torch. And they vomited from breathing in the 
heavy thick air. While the firstborn of the Egyptians were thus dying, some 600,000 of 
the sons of Israel from the age of 21 to 60 years of age, departed. This [Exodus] 
occurred in the year 3842 of Adam's expulsion [from Paradise], on a Wednesday, and 
[the Jews] crossed through the [Red] Sea on a Sunday. 

When Moses cast his wand upon that sea, he said: " Aia, my God, [before me]. "And 
[extending his right hand, he said:] " Sheraya, my God, You brought us out. "And 
extending his left hand, he said: "Adonoi, the Lord God, is with us. " Thus, having made 
the sign of the cross, he opened up a new path for them not only a dry route [through 
the Red Sea], but an extremely broad and green one over which the twelve tribes of the 



Israelites passed with their baggage. 

[23] First went the clan of Benjamin, followed by the clan of Levi, then Judah and the 
others. Thenceforth they were called the Hebrews, and, abandoning Egyptian, they were 
given a new language, similar to the paternal language which they presently speak. 
And, with that they sang "Let us bless the Lord, for He is glorified" [Exodus 15.2ff] . 

Then Pharaoh [and his troops] entered the waters, pursuing them, but [they were] 
drowned, instead of the children of the Israelites. The sea cast back a large portion of 
the slain with their weapons on the side of the Israelites, and each one recognized his 
[former] master, buried him, taking the wepons with which they [later] destroyed the 
Amalekites. Similarly, on the other side [of the Red Sea] the Ethiopians, who had come 
from the River Ganges, took the corpses thrown back by the sea. And thus were the 
words of the Psalm fulfilled: "They will sustain the Ethiopians. " 

In this period, Heracles appeared in Phoenica, as did the story about the discovery of 
the grape vine by Dionysius, which differs from that told by the Ishmaelites. 

Also in this period, the court [in Athens] was called the Areopagite. Now after the 
Israelites had left Egypt, the ground shook for seven months, such that people were 
unable to stay in their houses. And they say that those Egyptians who were spared the 
drowning of Pharaoh reasoned that they had been saved by their [images of] gods, 
which were made by [human] hands. In this year, which was the 80th year of Moses, 
the Amalekites, the offspring of Esau's concubines, were defeated, and thus [the 
Israelites] avenged their ancestors. In the same year, in the second month, Moses 
ascended that dusky mountain to the Lord. 

From [the time of] Adam until Moses' 80th year and the Exodus of Israel from Egypt, 
3842 years [had elapsed], and in his 80th year Moses warred against the Amelekites. In 
the third month of the same year he went up onto the mountain and received the law. 

[24] Apolomos the Hebrew philosopher says that it was Moses who created letters for 
the Hebrews. And from this it appears that the Hebrew language is younger than that of 
the Syrians. 

Apolimos, the Hebrew philosopher says that first Moses, by the grace of God, created 
an alphabet for the new language which [the Israelites] had received, and that 50 days 
later God gave Moses the tablets [containing the Ten Commandments] written in those 
letters. Moses first wrote the book of Exodus [the events of which] he had seen and was 
familiar with. Then he asked God: "How can I write fully of [the events of] Your 
creation which I did not witness?" To accomplish this, God, in a manner unknowable 



and intangible, for 40 days showed [Moses] the world and made [its past] known to 
him. And He ordered that it be made in seven months, arranged in the shape of the 
Tabernacle, after the seven days of creation. 

Six years after the Exodus of the Israelites, Cronos ruled as king over the Athenians. 
That land was called Attica, after his daughter. He also ruled the land in Asia Minor 
called Cappadocia, named after Cecrops, which originally was called Alie. In the 20th 
year of Moses' rule, [a king] named Egyptus ruled in Egypt for 68 years, and it is said 
that he gave his name to that country. At the same time, they say, the temple to Apollo 
was built in Athens, and named the Areopagus. Now Moses died when he was was 120 
years of age, and that is the beginning of the Jubilee of the Hebrews. The five books of 
Moses had been completed, containing, according to Eusebius, the deeds and history of 
3, 708 years. 

Moses was 82 years of age when he erected an altar, and in the same year spies brought 
grapes from the valley of Bethlehem. At the start of the next year Baghak sent Bagham 
the mage to curse Israel. Now Moses died when he was was 120 years of age. He wrote 
five books [the Pentateuch]. After this judges were established in Israel. The first of these 
was Joshua, son of Nun who took the scepter of Moses and the rule for 83 years. It was 
he who led Israel into the Promised Land. He killed seven peoples of the Canaanites and 
delivered their lands as inheritance to the [g33] sons of Israel. He judged them for 27 
years and died at 107 years of age. No one except Africanus puts an interval between 
[Joshua] and Othniel. [Africanus] inserts 30 years between them. This Othniel was judge 
for 40 years. But they served Chushan-rishathaim (K'usasart'em) whom Othniel killed 
and that eight years is counted. The Greeks say that [Othniel] was a judge for 50 years. 

In his day were built the Bithynian cities of Malos, T'e'asos, Alkite', and Marunta. And in 
this time cities were built in Sicily. In this period Pelops (Palambos) ruled as king over the 
Arcadians, and this was the beginning of their kingship. From [the Greeks] also arose 
Philiste (P'ilotonos) the moralist [who wrote about] animals and birds. Following Othniel, 
Israel served Eglon (Etghom) the Moabite for 1 8 years, [years] which are added to [the 
tenure of] Ehud of Ephraim, who judged for 80 years. The city of Akadmon [? 
Lacedomonia] was built by Kadamos. In this eighth year Ark'iat'os ruled Athens. And in 
his 20th [g34] year Lambaridus ruled over the Assyrians for 32 years. Balake' was built 
by the king of the Assyrians then. At this point the fourth epoch was completed, which 
was 4,000 years. 

[25] There were 27 generations from Adam to Moses while from Moses onward 
reckoning is done not by generations but solely by the names of the judges. Now after 
Ehud, [the Israelites] served Jabin for 20 years. Then Samegar grew strong and killed 
600 Phillistine men with the handle of a plough. Then Sisara came with 900 iron 



chariots. Barak with Deborah['s help] defeated him. Jahel, the wife of Haber, killed him 
by slitting his throat. Baraks judgeship lasted 40 years. 

In Ehud's 13th year, the Thebans Cadmus and Phoenix (P'iwnikos) came to Assyria and 
Sroy and Saydoy ruled. And some say that Cadmus created the Greek alphabet from 
Egyptian writing. 

Pelops took over the kingdom of the Arcadians who previously were called Mukeats'ik' [? 
Mycenaeans] prior to the descent among them of the sons [g35] of Heracles. In this 
period the city of Ilium was built by Ilos and Ak'ayis was built by Akioy. In this period 
there appeared Sibyl, a woman who interpreted a dream seen simultaneously by 100 
philosophers at Rome, in which they all saw seven suns. In this period Midos ruled over 
the Africans. 

In the 28th year of Barak, Panawos ruled over the Assyrians for 45 years. In this time 
Deborah made a blessing in song. After Barak the Midianites ruled Israel for seven years. 
Gideon whohad been strengthened by God, arose and destroyed them and judged Israel 
for 33 years. If the seven years of servitude are added to this figure, [his tenure as judge] 
is 40 years. In the third year of Gideon, Igos ruled as king of the Assyrians for 48 years. 
In the 33rd year of Gideon, Susramos ruled as king of the Assyrians for 19 years. In this 
period in Thebes, Apollo the musician ruled, who, they say was able to move rocks with 
the beauty of his playing. In other writings we have found that in Athens there ruled as 
king Cecrops again [or, the second Cecrops]. At 70 years of age, Gideon became a father 
[g36]. After Gideon's death Abimelich, the concubine's son, killed 70 of Gideon's sons 
and judged Israel for three years. He was succeeded by Tola, for 22 years. In his eighth 
year, Theseus ruled the Athenians for 30 years. In Assyria, Mit'ros ruled for 27 years. In 
the 21st year [of Tola] Tarsus in Cilicia was built by Perseus, son of Danae. In this period 
Carthage was built and Troy was captured. After Tola, Jair the Gileadite [judged] for 23 
years. In his sixth year Amukasos ruled as king in Egypt for 25 years. In his 14th year 
Tutlos ruled as king in Assyria for 3 1 years. The Greeks call him Tautanes (Tit'unuis), 
and some say that it was he who captured and ruined the city of Ilium. In [Jair's] 16th 
year Ment'os ruled over the Athenians for 22 years. 

After Jair [Israel] served Foreigners for 19 years, and Jephthah judged for six years, 
though [others] reckon 24 years. They say that the musician Philon (P'ilimon) lived in 
this period, he who introduced choirs. He too made statues with the feet [separated as 
though] walking. In this period the cities of Kiwrine' [? Corinth] and Sur were built, 440 
years before the construction of the Temple [g37]. 

[26] In the fourth year of Jephthah, Dimap'os ruled over the Athenians for 33 years. 
Over the Egyptians there ruled Giusbululite' and others like him, in order for 188 years. 



In this period the Latins, called Romans, began to rule. Their first king was Aenas [who 
ruled] for three years. Following Jephthah some say that Elon became judge. The 
Septuagint places Abdon here, who judged for eight years. After Abdon, the Philistines 
ruled for 40 years. After Elon and Abdon, Samson from the line of Dan judged Israel for 
20 years. In the third year of his tenure he warred against the Philistines. In his fifth year, 
the affair regarding Ruth took place. In his second year, Tute'os ruled the Assyrians for 
40 years. In Samson's 19th year there died Zeus who was buried in Crete after living for 
880 years. Because of his longevity, he was called after the name of the star, even though 
his parents had named him Dios. 

Now following Samson, the children of Israel passed 12 years [without a judge]. John 
the Historian writes that Samegar [judged] after Samson for 40 years, while Africanus 
says that they had no judge then. There was peace at the time and no one experienced 
harassment from anyone. Eli, according to the Septuagint, judged Israel for 20 years, 
while the Syriac [version] says 40 years. According to the Septuagint, Eli lived for a total 
of 78 years. Eli became a prince at age 38 and in the 17th year of his authority Samuel 
was born. Samuel was presented at the altar at age 20. After Eli's death, the Ark [of the 
Tabernacle] was in the House of Aminadab for 20 years. In the 42nd year of Samuel's 
life and in the 20th year of his authority, the children of Israel requested a king. With this, 
the era of the judges ended and their kingship [recommenced with Saul. 

Saul, the first king, at age 40 — which was the third year of his reign as king — defeated 
the Amalekites. In his 10th year David was born, and in the 22nd year of Saul's reign as 
king, David was anointed king by Samuel. And [g39] Samuel then was 65 years old and 
David was 12. In his 28th year, [David] killed Goliath. In the 31st year [of his reign] 
there was a festival to Nawad in Ramah and Saul prophesied among the prophesiers that 
David would be king. And he prophesied as to the wickedness of his House. Samuel the 
prophet died when David was 30. Five years after the death of Samuel, Saul and his son 
Jonathan were killed, having reigned for 40 years. 

David ruled in Hebron for seven years. It was he who built Zion, then ruled in Jerusalem 
for 33 years. In the 10th year of his reign he removed the Ark and put it in a tent. Now 
while he was bringing the Ark, the grace of God which was in it pitied Adam and he 
threw himself on Adam's grave. Hosea died since he wanted to restrict the grace [to 
Adam]. This is what Jacob of Edessa relates. 

[27] The prophet Nathan, who protected David, was in Gabawon. When David [was 
about to] fall into sin in with Bathseba, Nathan was the first to know about this. He came 
to save David, but while travelling he encountered a dead person and by the time they 
had buried him and Nathan had reached David [g40], the adultery had already occurred. 
And so, [Nathan] turned back in sorrow. When Uriah was slain, [Nathan] came and 



reprimanded [David] for these two evil deeds. [Nathan] gave him a sign — the death of 
Bathsheba's first born son — and David feared God and repented. In the 39th year of his 
reign, David selected 188 men from the Levites, organizing them into 23 choirs of 12 
men each, to serve the Ark and [to sing] Psalms. He also made war with the surrounding 
peoples and defeated all of them. He lived for 70 years, reigning for 40 years. 

Then Solomon, who was 12 years old, reigned for 40 years. He removed the priest 
Abiat'ar [from the priesthood] and killed Adonia and Yovab. In the fourth year of his 
reign, [Solomon] began building the Temple and completed it in eight years. This stood 
on the mountains of the Amorites, which is now Jerusalem. It is written in [the Biblical 
book of] Kings, that 480 years after the exodus from Egypt, the Temple would be built. 
Paul says the same, that "[God] gave them judges for 450 years until the prophet 
Samuel," leaving out the 30 years of their servitude to Foreigners. In their [g41] 34th 
year, Solomon built an idol house for the Moabite Camos and the Ammonite Moloch 
where there was also a home for the Greek goddess Aphrodite. The Moabite temple was 
built in seven years and the Ammonite [temple] in thirteen years. Their height was 30 
cubits and their width, 50 cubits. And [Solomon] made many golden ornaments for them 
and [a representation of] a bronze sea with bulls. [Solomon] pulled down Antioch and 
built T'etmur near Hems, as well as Malu, Hesur, Makdur, Gazare', Be'dur upper and 
lower, and Beghe'ovt', seven cities. In the first year of his kingship a son, Rehoboam, was 
born from his marriage to Naamah the Ammonite. In Damascus Solomon's enemy 
Hadad was ruling. Solomon's life span was 52 years. Epiphanes says that Ahijah (Ak'ia) 
prophesied to Solomon that he would anger God sometime in the future. He similarly 
upbraided Rehoboam that he went treacherously before God. It was Ahijah who saw the 
vision in which yoked oxen were trampling Israel and the priesthood. [Ahijah] said to 
Solomon: "your women distance you from God." He also reprimanded Jeroboam, son of 
Nabat, because of his wives and he died [g42] and was buried at Shiloh in front of an 
oak tree. 

[28] To [King Solomon] came Nessa, the queen of a southern realm, [who was] said to 
be descended from the line of Noah's daughter, Aster. [She came] from a place in the 
south where, to this day, women descended from the patriarch Noah rule. [Solomon] 's 
reputation for wisdom attracted her and she tested him with enigmatic questions, some 
of which we have provided here. 

1. The first question concerns the nature of God. "What is your God, and who does He 
resemble? " 

Solomon replied: "My God Is, and is above all beings. He has no [fixed] image. Every 
being has its opposite. However, my God, since He is not created, has no opposite. 



2. "How does the celestial globe turn, right to left, fully or partly?" 

"This turning is done in two ways. The heavenly circumference turns to the right and to 
the East, then through the South and West, and the North, returning to its point of 
departure. By the same order, it goes around in a day and a night with all the fixed 
stars. As for the planets, which some call wandering stars, they move left from West to 
East, each according to the low or high position of its zone, according to the 
narrowness or breadth of that zone, achieving a revolution in 30 years as well as 30 
days. For Cronos is Saturn, while Sahra is the Moon. " 

3. "Before there was Being, where was the creator of all, and after the dissolution [of 
everything] , where will He be? " 

"Before the creation of all, was the Lord Himself and His being was full of its essence. 
He enjoyed endless goodness. Since the creation [of the world] , it is in Him that 
created beings exist. After the dissolution of the world, He also will continue to exist in 
Himself and in the souls of saints, and they reside in Him. He adds to their glory and 
He will be further glorified by them. " 

4. "Why is it that an Indian woman who eats pomegranate ceases to conceive?" 

"The nature of the pomegranate is cold and wet and the country of India is hot and dry. 
The Indian woman is cool and moist. Consequently, when elements of the pomegranate 
and the woman merge, contrary to the nature of the country, then women no longer can 
become pregnant. " 

5. "Why does an Indian man become sterile after drinking wine?" 

[29] "The nature of the wine is dry and hot, and it induces sleep. The same may be said 
for [the nature of] mankind. Thus when a man drinks often, he become impotent. " 

6. "Is wisdom general or specific? Does it come from nature, from study, or as a 
blessing? " 

"Wisdom is general in genre, partial in type, natural as regards animate beings, trees, 
and plants. The situation with humankind is mixed. It may be attained through study, as 
one labors to understand something; or it may be a blessing of grace from God. This 
latter type is not given to all but only to those selected as worthy of it. " 

Question: "What was the plant which was crowned not by nature but surrounded by a 
halo of rays and nurtured by flames which were woven into garlands for undeserving 



sons 



?" 



Answer: "Surely you have heard that God appeared to Moses as a burning blackberry 
bush, and that that visitation stimulated questions and answers. " 

Question: "Identify the foreign mother, the sons born in prostitution, and nourished in 
impiety, revealed as thieves, and kings living in plenty. " 

Answer: "You insult my fathers and myself. Tamar was considered a murderer who 
nourished my ancestors after they had been stolen from Judah. " 

Question: "Name the thing which is repulsive and nauseating, which is transformed by 
the clouds and nourishes kings. " 

Answer: "You refer to menstruating women who nourish kings and paupers [when 
babies,] through [the milk of] their breasts (?). " 

Riddle: "What is the diner who, seeking different tastes, increases the number of cooks, 
yet receives only the same flavor? " 

Answer: "If you have an excellent cook, let us add him to the thousands we have; 
however, as you say, there is but one [excellent] taste. But should there be one wicked 
chef, opposed to Our Lord, then the bitter taste will remain untilJudgement day. " 

Riddle: "The bridegroom is invisible, and the nuptial is unchangeable. The bedchamber 
is pure; but the spouse full of rage brings a great shame to the matter. " 

[30] Answer: "Do not insult our people which is forever wedded to God with unspoken 
words. Nor do we bear the shame of prostituting ourselves to foreign gods. It is fitting 
that you worship a bird called T'riane, the phoenix. But now, answer a riddle from me. " 

"There is a formidable tower, with lethal weapons, and a three-sided temple, whose 
rocks are joy, whose foundation is love, whose construction is water, the start of whose 
deliverance is caresses, whose ceilings are dance, whose columns are enjoyment, whose 
discovery is strange, whose residents are not persons. Pursuit of it is in vain, its turrets 
spring from within itself, its windows are isolated, the instruments are contrary to its 
construction, and its guards are invisible. " 

And the Queen replied: "We heard that you were wise, but did not believe that you were 
prescient. Now we know that your God is the sole God of the visible and the invisible". 
The Queen then praised the construction of the Temple and its attendants who were 



divided into 12 classes to serve before the Lord each month. Each class had 24,000 
people in it, with 6,000 judges and 4,000 harpists, and 4,000 porters, [an 
arrangement] which [Solomon's] father David had designated. The dimensions of the 
Temple were: 60 cubits long by 20 cubits wide and 120 cubits high. It had 10 gold 
tables [or, altars] and 10 gold towers. Outside, to the right and left were two columns 
of 37 cubits height which were named Boas (Bsogh) and Yak'um, meaning "Strength" 
and "Righteousness. " The Holy of Holies was 20 cubits wide and 20 cubits high, which 
greatly astonished the Queen. And she departed from him greatly edified. 

Solomon subsequently repented for his sins. Recalling his father's command, he entered 
a room and expiated. [Solomon] died at the age of 52, having ruled for 40 years. 

After Solomon's death the twelve tribes divided and were under Jeroboam, son of 
Nabath, who ruled for 22 years. Under Rehoboam there remained two peoples, and they 
were called Judah and Israel. Rehoboam ruled as king in Jerusalem for 1 7 years and lived 
to age 58. In this period lived the prophet Samea who reprimanded Rehoboam a second 
time on the altar and said to Judah: "Do not fight with Israel since your division was from 
the Lord." He tore his garment into twelve parts, giving ten pieces to Jeroboam the 
Nabatian and two pieces to Rehoboam, Solomon's son. Epiphanes says that the prophet's 
name was Iud, who hailed from the country of the Samarians and that he was killed by a 
lion as he strayed from the word of the Lord. After Rehoboam, his son Abiah ruled for 
two years. Jeroboam arose against him with 40,000 [troops] and 50,000 men of Israel 
were killed. Abiah had 14 wives who bore him [g43] 24 sons and 60 daughters. 

[31] After Abiah, his son Asa ruled for 41 years, living for 60 years. He dug a well near 
Masep'a to the awe of the king of Israel. [Asa] in the 1 5th year [of his reign] burned the 
idols he found and eliminated prostitution from the country. He also removed his mother 
from the queenship because she worshipped Astarte, and he burned the idols of his 
mother. In the 29th year [of Asa] Elah ruled over Israel for two years. His servant, Zimri 
(Zambri) killed him and ruled for seven days. Israel was divided, some following Amri 
and some, Tibni. Amri was victorious and ruled for 12 years. He purchased the mountain 
Samaria from the Samarians' lord, built a city there, and named it Samaria. It was later 
called Sebastia, and today is called Nablus (Mamlug). When Tibni saw that Amri had 
triumphed, he set fire to the court and burned to death in it. 

In the 41st year of Asa, P'ark'iris ruled in Egypt for four years. After Asa, Jehoshapat his 
son ruled [g44], for 29 years. In [Jehoshapat's] second year, Ahab (Ak'aab), Amri's son, 
was king of Israel, for 23 years. He took for a wife Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal (It'ikil), 
king of Tyre (Sur) and Sidon. He built Jericho which was cursed by Joshua, son of Non. 
He began it under his first born Abhiram and finished it under his younger son, Zertsel. 
Under Abhiram he laid the foundation, and under Zertsel he hanged the gates, according 



to Jesu. But there are diverse accounts about this, such as, that it was built by order of 
Ahab and his sons, Abhiram and Zertsel. 

In the second year of Jehoshapat, Carpantus ruled over the Latins for 13 years. In 
Jehoshapat's fourth year, Ubrantios ruled over the Assyrians for 50 years. In his 13th 
year there ruled Iskok'oros in Egypt, for six years. In his fourth year Amkalos ruled over 
the Assyrians for 30 years. In his 19th year in Egypt [g45] there ruled Basanik'os for nine 
years. In his 23rd year there ruled over the Latins Agripa, for 41 years. In his 29th year 
Ochochias ruled over Israel for one year. After him his brother, Joram, ruled for 12 
years. In the same year Joram ruled over Judah for 8 years. After him Ochochias ruled 
for one year. Joram, king of Judah, son of Jehoshapat, took for his wife Athaliah who 
was Ahab's sister and killed his brothers. The Lord struck him in anger and he died and 
Ochochias ruled the kingdom. He sent Elisha to anoint Jehu, son of Amghi over Israel. 
He killed Joram, son of Ahab and Ochochias, king of Judah, and Jezebel, 15 years after 
killing her husband, Ahab. 

After the death of Ochochias, king of Judah, his mother Godoghia lost all her sons. But 
one baby was preserved by Jehoiada the priest. Then Godoghia herself ruled for 6 years. 
Jehu ruled over Israel for 28 years. He burned the temple to Baal (Bahagh) called "bull" 
[g46] together with its worshippers. The chief priest Yovidea killed Godoghia and 
enthroned Joas, a boy of six, over Judah. He reigned for 40 years. 

[32] In the second year of Joas, Diogenes ruled as king over the Athenians for 28 years. 
In [Joas'] 10th year, Akraganis ruled the Athenians for 22 years. In the 22nd year of 
Joas, Esnuk'os ruled over the Egyptians for 21 years. In [Joas'] 23rd year, Romulus ruled 
as king over the Latins for 1 9 years. This Romulus was extremely proud in his ways and 
was burned together with his court in fire sent from heaven. In the 37th year of Joas' 
[reign], Elisha died, 50 years after the assumption of Elijah. In the 27th year of Joas, 
there ruled over Israel Yovak'az for 1 7 years. In the 3 1 st year of Joas the judge over 
[g47] the Athenians was Baraklis, for 19 years. Joas, after the death of Yovidea, deviated 
from the Lord. He killed Zak'aria, son of Yovidea in the Temple, then he himself was 
slain by one of his servants. 

Then his son Amasia ruled for 29 years. He was conquered by the Edomites and brought 
their gods to worship them. He lived for 54 years. In his 10th year, Yovas ruled over 
Israel for 16 years. Antoninus ruled over the Latins for 37 years. In the second year of 
Amasia, Est'ron ruled over Egypt for 17 years. During this period Arip'an was judge over 
the Athenians for 20 years. In the 17th year of Amasia, T'onos Konkogheros, called 
Sardanapalos, ruled over the Assyrians for 20 years. In his day [g48] Jonan went to 
preach in Nineveh. [Sardanapalos] regretted [his deeds] and turned to the Lord in 
repentance. After this repentance, there was warfare between him and Varbak the Mede, 



[the Medes] who are the Mark'. When [Sardanapalos] saw that he had been defeated by 
the Mark', he burned himself to death. 

The entire duration of the Assyrian kingdom was 1,196 years, which was after the 
overthrow of the Babylonian kingdom. [Counting from] the first year of Belus, father of 
Ninus, there were 1,300 years. Varbak the Mede, with the assistance of the Armenians, 
eliminated the kingdom of the Assyrians, turning it into [the kingdom of] the Medes. 
After his death, the king was the Chaldean P'ul called E'p'ua, from the line of Ninus. 
From him descended the kings Tiglathpilesar (T'akghat'p'aghasar), Shalmaneser 
(Soghmanasar), and Senek'erim, who are mentioned in the books of the Bible. These 
[kings] ruled over the Cilicians and P'ilip'ians. From them descended Nak'onos, 
Nak'ubolos, Nabupalasar and [g49] Nabugoghonosor. Their [total regnal] years, from 
P'ul until Alexander of Macedon, is 424 years. Now after the death of Alexander there 
ruled Seleucus, Antiochus, Kilikos [Seleucus Callinichus] who built Cilicia; Soros who 
built Soria after which the Asorik' (Assyrians) are named. Until Soros, they were called 
Chaldeans; and Seleucus who built Seleucia. Antiochus [re]built Antioch after it had 
been ruined by Solomon. Similarly, Seleucus at Alexander's order [re]built Edessa 
— which had been built by Nimrod and demolished by Senek'erim. This same Seleucus 
established a multitude of people to dwell in Tarsus in Cilicia. Because of the unhealthy 
nature of the place, they had not lived there previously. 

[33] In the 18th year of Amaziah, king of Judah, Jeroboam ruled over Israel for 40 
years; while in Egypt, Tulo't'is ruled for 1 3 years. Amaziah fought with Joas, king of 
Israel, was wounded and died. Then the Israelites came to Jerusalem, demolished 400 
fathoms of the wall, took the gold and silver from the House of the Lord and the House 
of the king, and returned to Samaria. Amaziah was brought to Jerusalem and buried. 
Then his son [g50] Azariah succeeded him for 52 years. Reaching the age of 68, he died. 

In the first year of Azariah, who is Uzziah, T'aspinos was judge of the Athenians for 27 
years. In the second year of Uzziah, Statis ruled as king in Egypt, for 25 years. In the 
10th year of Uzziah, P'rikos ruled over the Latins for 23 years. In the 27th year of 
Uzziah, Usrat'on reigned in Egypt for 9 years. The Egyptians called him Erakle's. In the 
28th year of Uzziah, the judge of the Athenians was Agmistor for 20 years. In the 29th 
year of King Uzziah of Judah, Zak'aria reigned over Israel for 6 years and 4 months. 
After Zak'aria, Sellom ruled over Israel for one year. He was followed by Menahem for 
10 years. In his 24th regnal year Uzziah dared to cast incense in the Temple, and became 
covered all over his body with leprosy, and [g51] Isaiah was prevented from prophesying 
for 24 years. He remained silent for 28 years, until Uzziah died, and thereafter 
prophesied for 61 years. In the 33rd year of Uzziah, Romulus (Amulos) ruled the Latins 
for 43 years. In the 34th year of Uzziah, P'ua, king of the Babylonians arose and went 
against Samaria, took 1,000 talents of gold from Menahem and turned back. In the 36th 



year of Uzziah, Basmos reigned over the Egyptians for 10 years. In the 40th year of 
Uzziah king of Judah, P'ake'e' ruled over Israel for 10 years. In the 41st year of Uzziah, 
Ko'nos the second king ruled over the Macedonians for 12 years. Over the Assyrians 
there reigned Tiglathpilesar for 35 years. In the 46th year of Uzziah, Kuk'ros reigned 
over Egypt for 44 years. In the 48th year of Uzziah, the first king reigned over the 
Lydians (Liwdat'wots') [g52]. 

Tiglathpilesar, king of the Assyrians, arose and enslaved Judah and a large part of Israel. 
This was the beginning of the captivity of Israel. Grandee princes were taken captive: 
Inabe'l, Be't'mek'a, Enok', Kants, Esur, Geghad, Gawdi, and the country of the Nephilim. 
After the death of Uzziah, the glory of the Lord appeared in the Temple. After the death 
of Uzziah, his son Jotham (Yovat'am) ruled for 16 years. He conquered the Ammonites 
and put them under taxation. In the third year of Jotham, the third king of the 
Macedonians, Tunios ruled for 38 years. They are related to the Armenians. After 
Jotham his son, Ahaz (Ak'az) ruled for 16 years. He worked evil before the Lord. 

Pekah (P'ake'e'), king of Israel, took Hr'ason, king of Damascus, went against Judah, and 
killed 120,000. Then Ahaz sent mercenaries from Tiglathpilesar and he came [g53] and 
killed Hr'ason, enslaved the Edomites, and departed. In the second year of Ahaz, Hosea 
revolted from Pekah, killed him, then ruled over Israel himself for 9 years. In the 7th year 
of Ahaz's reign, Shalmaneser ruled over the Assyrians for 14 years. He came against 
Israel and placed it under taxation. After a while Hosea rebelled and sent to Abimelech 
the Kushite, which is Ethiopia, who then was in Egypt, to come to aid him. In the 7th 
year of Hosea and the 8th year of Ahaz, Shalmaneser arose and came against Samaria, 
besieging it for 3 years. Then he captured Samaria and took the 10 tribes captive to 
Babylon. The [total] years of the kings of Israel was 250, and then they were eliminated. 
[Dating] from Adam there were 4,330 years. 

[34] Ahaz took down the [model of] 12 bulls on the sea which King Solomon had made. 
After the death of Ahaz, Hezekiah ruled in Jerusalem for 29 years, living 54 years. 
Samaria remained under Assyrian control. In the 8th year of Hezekiah, Shalmaneser sent 
guards to the Samarian areas. Up to this point, those called Latins had 15 kings. In the 
7th year [g55] of Ahaz, Romulus ruled. He built the city of Rome in his name, though 
some say it was named after his daughter, who was named Hr'ome'. Thereafter they were 
called Romans. 

In this period the island of Rhodes was built up. It has the fruit of juniper trees. In this 
period the city of Salinos was constructed in Sicily, and the city of Trapizond (Trap'or) 
[was built] in Pontos. In Bithynia, Kizikon was built, in Italy, Colonea and Lukania [were 
built]. It was at this time that the Lacedemonians [Spartans] set up their first kings. The 
first was Abios, and others ruled for 340 years. In this period [in Rome] they built 24 



temples, two areopagi, and [g55] 324 streets, 80 golden idols, and 64 statues made from 
ivory, and 46,603 mansions. There were 1,795 princely houses, and 1,352 acquaducts to 
bring water to the city. [There were] 2,074 bakers, and 3,785 bronze talismans. After a 
long period of time, Titus and Vespasian brought [to Rome] the gates of Jerusalem, the 
columns of the Temple and other things, and they added to the adornments of Rome. 
The circumference of the city is 40 miles and each of the four sides has 12 miles inside. 
A mile corresponds to 1 2 acres, the length of a path drawn by oxen. The number of 
inhabitants were 120,000, and the second time they were counted there were 160,000 
inhabitants. The third [census] found [g56] 270,000; the fourth, 460,000; the fifth, 
4,600,000. During the reign of Claudius [the population of Rome was] 6,940,000. 
During the reign of Augustus and Archelaeus, son of Herod, there was a great famine in 
Rome when a mod of grain cost 27 1/2 dahekans. During the reign of Titus a plague 
occurred there in which 10,000 folk died in a single day. 

In this period lions devoured the Samaritans. Shalmaneser sent from captivity a priest 
named Ezra, who taught them the faith and who wrote for them in Syriac the five books 
of Moses. It is for this reason that the Samaritans do not accept other books or 
prophecies excepting Genesis [?] 

[35] In the 6th year of Hezekiah, Senek'erim ruled as king of the Assyrians. His troops 
went to Jerusalem and killed 185,000 people. Senek'erim, after ruling for nine years, was 
slain by his sons who went to Armenia. Then his son Esarhaddon (Asurdan) ruled for 
three years. In Egypt, Sawik'on the Indian ruled for 12 years while [g57] P'ritikos ruled 
over the Macedonians for 5 1 years. In the 1 8th year of Hezekiah, Beldan who is 
Baghtan, ruled over the Assyrians. He sent an offering to Hezekiah in Jerusalem for the 
return [from eclipse] of the sun, since he knew that the god of Israel was a sign of life for 
Hezekiah. And he preached the name of the Lord God throughout the country of the 
Babylonians and Assyrians. He also fashioned an image of the true God and had it 
worshipped. And he turned his entire land from worshipping the sun. 

In the 20th year of Hezekiah, Kurtakos ruled the Medes for 1 3 years. In the 29th year of 
Hezekiah, Archos (Trok'os) the Indian ruled in Egypt for 20 years. Following Hezekiah, 
Manasseh ruled for 55 years. He lived for 67 years. In the second year of his reign he 
killed the prophet Isaiah and shed much innocent blood. And he [g58] was dropped by 
the hand of God and fell into the hands of the Assyrian troops. They took him captive to 
Assyria and placed him in a well, in fetters. He recited solemn prayers of repentance to 
the all powerful Lord. God accepted his entreaties and released him in his 37th year. The 
prophet Isaiah was buried in Siloam (Selov) which received the grace of healing. Selov 
was called "sent" and for two reasons. One was because of Isaiah who is called the sent 
(ar'ak'eal, "apostle") in the [Biblical] passage [Isaiah 6.8] which says "Here I am, Lord, 
send me." The other reason was that when foreigners came to cut off the water supply 



and when Isaiah went among the people, he was sent by God to Jerusalem [to resist] the 
besiegement by the Assyrians. 

In the 4th year of Manasseh, Diuk'layos ruled over the Medes for 54 years. In the 21st 
year of Manasseh, Martis ruled Egypt for two years. In the 29th year of Manasseh, 
Arge'os ruled the Macedonians for 38 years. In the 33rd year of Manasseh, Step'ant'os 
ruled in Egypt for [g59] five years. In the 25th year of Manasseh, Senecherib the 
Younger ruled over the Assyrians for 35 years. In the 40th year of Manasseh, Taklios 
ruled as king over the Romans for 32 years. It was he who introduced royal purple 
clothing and a golden scepter. We call him Tullos. At this time in Egypt there ruled 
Nek'on for 1 8 years. In the 44th year of Manasseh, P'somitikos ruled in Egypt for 44 
years. In this period the first construction of Biwzand [Byzantium] took place by Prince 
Biwzos; and after 970 years it was expanded and renovated by Constantine and 
[re]named Constantinople. In this period the [institution of] judges in Athens came to an 
end. 

[36] After Manasseh, Amon ruled Judah for 12 years. In his third [g60] year Phraortes 
(Nbraktios) ruled as king over the Medes for 14 years. In the 12th year of Amon's reign, 
Nabupalasar ruled over the Assyrians for 32 years. He was a mage. In the same year 
Philip ruled over the Macedonians for 38 years. In the third year of Amon's reign, Josiah 
was born. Amon worshipped idols. His servants attacked him and he died. He lived for 
24 years. 

His son Josiah ruled as king in Jerusalem for 3 1 years, and lived for 39 years. He had 
four sons: Yovhanne's, Yovakim, Yovak'az, and Zedekiah. In these days Sop'onia from 
the line of Shmawon was prophesying. In the 10th year of Josiah, Markos Anikos ruled 
as king over the Romans for 24 years. In the 1 3th year of Josiah, Jeremiah began to 
prophesy. In the 14th year of Josiah, Kostandos ruled as king over the Macedonians for 
32 years. He went and conquered Nineveh and the Assyrians. In Josiah's 30th year 
[g61], Neco (Nek'awov) who is Nep'sos, ruled as king in Egypt for 6 years. He arose and 
went to the Euphratean areas, warring against the Assyrians at Mnbe'ch. Then Josiah 
arose and went against him, without God's command, and was killed by him and buried 
in Jerusalem. His son, Yovak'az ruled after him. After three months Neco the Lame 
turned and took Yovak'az to Egypt, establishing the latter's brother, Yovakim, as king. 
[Neco] also imposed a tax of 10 talents of gold and 100 of silver. He ruled for 12 years. 

In the third year of Jehoiakim's reign, Tarkinos Ubrikos ruled as king over the Romans 
for 38 years. In the same year Nebuchadrezzar /Nebuchadrezzar (Nabugodonosor) the 
Chaldean, son of Nabupalasar, ruled the Assyrians for 44 years. He came to Jerusalem 
and took into captivity the vessels from the House of the Lord. He also laid a tribute on 
Jehoiakim and took Daniel and his companions into captivity. And he [re]built in the 



name of the Assyrians the city of Manbij (Mnbe'ch), which had been pulled down by 
Neco. He placed there the idol of Cainan, and called [the city] Hieropolis, which 
translates "city of priests" [g62] after the sorcerer priests, whose sect was later studied by 
Bardesan. 

Once again Neco came to the Euphratean areas and [this time] he was killed by 
Nabugodonosor. Then P'sant'os ruled in Egypt for 17 years. In the 8th year of Yovakim 
and the 5th year of Nebuchadrezzar , the latter came to Jerusalem, took the tribute, and 
departed. In the 8th year of Nebuchadrezzar , Yovakim died and his son Jehoiachin, who 
is Yek'onia, reigned for three years. He departed from [the ways of] the Lord. Then 
Nebuchadrezzar came to Jerusalem, captured Yek'onia, his mother, and princes and took 
them to Babylon where they were kept in fetters for 35 years. Then [Nebuchadrezzar ] 
made Zedekiah king in Jerusalem. Earlier, Nebuchadrezzar 's father, Nabopolassar, had 
sent him to Jerusalem and when he returned he found that his father had died, and he 
took over the kingdom. In the 19th year of Nebuchadrezzar , Nabuzardan came and 
burned Jerusalem and the Temple after the captivity and death of Zedekiah, who had 
ruled for 1 1 years. In the fourth year of Zedekiah, there ruled over the Medes [g63] 
Astyages (Istikos) for 38 years. In the 11th year of Zedekiah, Vaphres (Ep'ros) reigned 
over Egypt for 27 years. In the same year Zedekiah was taken captive with all the Jews 
excepting a few poor folk who worked for the court. However, before the destruction of 
the Temple, the prophet Jeremiah had taken and was keeping the Tabernacle of the Lord. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



[37] In the fourth year of Yovakim, which was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar, before 
the 11th year of Zedekiah which was the last destruction of Jerusalem, and after the 
destruction of Jerusalem, Nebuchadrezzar arose and went against Tyre which is Sur, 
demolished it, and threw the stones into the sea. The Tyrians took their belongings, also 
threw them into the sea, and then fled by boat, while what they could carry they took 
with them aboard ships and fled to Carthage. [The Assyrians] killed Hiram, king of 
Tyre. [Tyre] had been [ruled by] the kings of Judah throughout its entire history. 
Nebuchadrezzar gave Egypt over to the toops for looting in return for their work at Tyre. 

In the 27th year of the captivity of Jerusalem, Nebuchadrezzar died [g64] after a reign of 
20 years. His son Amel-Marduk (Ilmarovdak) [Evil-merodach] succeeded him for three 
years. It was he who removed Yovakim from prison and had him eat at the royal table. 
After him came Baghtasar for two years. In the first year of Baghtasar's reign, Daniel 
saw the vision of the four beasts, on the example of the four kingdoms of the world. 
Darius the Mede, [this people] who are the Mar, slew Baghdasar and turned the kingdom 
to the Chaldeans. In the time of Darius the Mede, Daniel was put back into prison [but 
subsequently] Darius appointed him as superior to all the princes. Then Cyrus the 
Persian killed Darius and did away with the kingdom of the Medes and Assyrians. Cyrus 
put the seat of his kingdom in Babylon and made Daniel faithful to him. 

Daniel, inspried by zeal for God, destroyed the idol of Bel which was erected in the 
name of Vilos, and he slew the dragon. Furious at him [the king] again threw him into a 
den with seven lions. Then Habakkuk was sent by God to bring food to Daniel, and 
Daniel was saved from the cubs of his enemies. In this year Habakkuk died and Daniel 
saw a vision by which he learned that the 70 years [of chastisement] had ended, that 
[chastisement] which God had [revealed] [g65] by means of the prophet Jeremiah. 
[Daniel] fasted for 21 days. He saw, by the Tigris River, a man dressed in white, who 
told him: "For 21 days I have fought with the prince of the Persians in order that the sons 
of your people be returned." And indeed, in the first year of Cyrus, 50,000 [of the 
Jewish captives] returned and they began to [re]build the Temple. 

In the 60th year of the captivity of the Jews, Cyrus was killed by his wife, [Tomyris, 
queen of the] Massagetae (Makaste), and Cambyses took over his realm. The Jews say 



that he was styled Nebuchadrezzar, who slew Arp'ak'sat' the Mede. During [Cambyses'] 
day the affair of the woman Judith occurred, she who slew Holophernes who was of the 
line of Magog, who are the Turks. 

[38] After Cambyses had ruled for eight years, his two brothers, who were mages, took 
the kingdom, for seven years. After them there ruled Darius the Mede, son ofHystaspes, 
for 36 years. In his third year was completed the second 70 [year] captivity of the Jews 
after the burning of the Temple. The first 70 [year captivity] was determined by Jeremiah 
[g66] and testified to by Zakaria and Ange'as who said [Jeremiah 1.12]: "How long will 
you have no mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah... [against which you have had 
indignation] these 70 years?" From the building by Solomon until the sixth year of 
Darius totals 508 years. In the 15th year of Darius, the fifth century was concluded; and 
in the 16th year of Darius the sixth century began. 

In this period there prophesied Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Zerubbabel, son of 
Shealtiel, son ofJeconias [Jehoiachin] , led the [Jewish] captives back. The High Priest 
was Jeshua, son ofJehozadak. Some say that Zedekiah's son, Shealtiel, was born in 
Babylon after his blinding. In this period Chilon, one of the Seven Sages, was ephor in 
Lacaedamon. Similarly Tarquin is said to have invented instruments of torture, prisons, 
and the use of racks and chains [for torture] and commanding [convicts] to work in 
the copper mines. [In these times] Theognis was reconized as a poet. 

After Darius his son, Xerxes, ruled for 21 years. In the second year of his reign he took 
Egypt, and in the 2 1 st year he took and burned Athens, and captured many cities. In his 
day the affair of Esther took place involving Mordecai and Haman who was of the 
Amalekites. But [the historian] John [of Asia] does not believe that the events [involving] 
Esther occurred at this point, otherwise why did Ezra not write about them? And some 
say that [g67] the return of the Jews occurred then, while others put it under Darius. 
After Xerxes, Artawanos ruled for five months, and after him Artaxerxes (Artashe's) 
Longimanus ruled for 41 years. In his seventh year the scribe Ezra went to [reconstruct 
the walls of Jerusalem. Through God's grace he wrote down the Old Testament. Through 
God's care, old exemplars had been preserved in various places which later were found 
to agree with one another. 

In the 20th year of Artaxerxes his cupbearer, Nehemiah, went to assist Ezra. He 
remained there in Jerusalem, building, for 12 years. [This] foundation of Jerusalem was 
laid during the priesthood of Yovidia, son of Eghise'. Nemiah also had the burnt ashes [of 
sacred writings] retrieved from a well where they had been forgotten for 70 years. When 
he placed them on the altar, the [sacred flame] lit, as before. 

[39] Following Longimanus, another Artaxerxes (Artashe's) reigned for two months. 



After him Sogdianos (Sikdinos) ruled for seven months. He was followed by Darius 
Nothus, the bastard, for 19 years. In the 15th year of his reign Egypt revolted from the 
Persians and set up Dionysius as their king [g68], after an interregnum of 124 years. 
After Alexander, Pertikos ruled over the Macedonians for 28 years. In the 19th year of 
Darius, Orestes (Aristos) ruled the Macedonians for three years. Meanwhile in Rome, 
Calorion reigned. He warred against the Gauls (Kalatukk) and Galatians. After 1 00 years 
the Romans were conquered. They took Rome and demolished it to its foundations, 
leaving only the royal palace. In the same period there was a severe earthquake, and the 
earth swallowed many cities. The Persians were ruled by Artaxerxes Mnemon for 40 
years. The Hebrews say that it was under him that [the events] of Esther occurred. In the 
15th year of Artaxerxes, the Autocrat of Rome [named] Africanus destroyed Carthage 
and rebuilt it in his own name, calling it Africa. In Egypt, Ephirites (Umbetris) ruled for 
six years, while Archelaus ruled over the Macedonians for four years. Then Dalamutos 
(Amutos) ruled again for one year. And then [g69] Pusinos for one year, followed by 
Amundis for six years. In the 16th year of Artaxerxes, Archelaus ruled the Maceonians 
for 18 years. In the 20th year of Artaxerxes, P'sunt'os ruled in Egypt for one year and 
after him, Maris for one year, followed by Niktapis for 18 years. In the 35th year of 
Artaxerxes, Alexander ruled over the Macedonians for one year, followed by Ptolemy for 
three years. In the 40th year of Artaxerxes, Dios (Te'ous) ruled the Egyptians for two 
years. 

He was followed by Nectanebo (Nenk'debos) for 12 years. After Artaxerxes, another 
Artaxerxes called Ochus (Uk'os) ruled over the Persians. He subdued Egypt and 
eliminated their kingdom. Nectanebo, king of Egypt, fled to Ethiopia, knowing through 
magic [g70] about the impending disaster. They say that he, Nectanebo, was the father of 
Alexander. The kingship of Egypt was empty for 42 years until the advent of Punt'imos 
called Ptolemy, one of Alexander's friend. 

Artaxerxes Ochus, king of Persia, made the Jews submit and took and settled them by 
the Caspian Sea in the city of Hyrcania. In this period Philip, Alexander's father, ruled as 
king over the Macedonians for 28 years. [Philip's] wife's name was Olympias. It was in 
this period that the philosophers Aristotle and Epicurus appeared. In the 13 th year of the 
Persian [king] Ochus, Alexander was born in the eighth year of his father's reign. After 
Ochus, his son Arisbole's ruled as king over the Persians. He was followed by Darius son 
of Artaxerxes (Artashir) for six years. 

In the first year of [Darius'] rule Philip's son Alexander ruled over the Macedonians for 
20 years. At first he ruled over Hellas. Although he was [just] three cubits in height, he 
was very intelligent and brave. He eliminated [g71] 35 kings of the world. He possessed 
120,000 troops. In the sixth year of his reign, which was also the sixth year of Darious, 
[Greeks and Persians] warred at Sis in Cilicia, and Darius died. With him ended the 



kingdom of the Persians which had lasted 23 1 years. 

[40] Alexander built 12 cities named after himself. He emplaced the Gate of the Huns so 
that they would not pollute his land. That Gate was made of iron and stood 12 cubits 
high and eight cubits wide. He came to Jerusalem and offered prayers to God and the 
Jews allowed it. He honored the High Priest Antromak'os, and when the Samaritans 
killed the High Priest Antromak'os for allowing a pagan to worship God, Alexander 
heard about this. He came to Jerusalem, destroyed Samaria, and exterminated the 
people. Then he brought Macedonians and settled them in Samaria. After a reign of 12 
years and seven months he died from poisoning in Babylon. He was the first king [g72] 
of the Greeks. After him Ptolemy ruled in Egypt. It was [Ptolemy] who brought 
[Alexander's] body to Egypt and buried it. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy that the 
he-goat would conquer Darius the ram. And thus, too, was one horn removed, leaving 
four horns, [Alexander's] comrades [Daniel 8.7-8]. There were 10 horns after that, the 
horns divided into 1 kings. 

Ptolemy ruled for 40 years. In his first year he took Jerusalem through treachery. Then 
he took captives under the High Priest Onias to Egypt. Other kings were called Ptolemids 
after Ptolemy's name. In the fourth year of Ptolemy's reign, Antigonus ruled over all Asia 
for 18 years. He rebuilt Antioch after the name of his son, Antiochus. In the 13th year of 
Ptolemy, Seleucus ruled for 33 years over the Assyrians and Babylonians as far as the 
Indians. He finished the construction of Antioch and also built Seleucia, Laodicea, 
Apamea, Beria which is Aleppo, Balue, and Marash [g73] and settled Jews in them. And 
he honored them and allowed them to go and come to him as his dear ones. It was in this 
period that the great Tower of Alexandria was built in the sea of Nephros, and named 
Prutos. It was built by Sostratos of Kandi in a place across from Alexandria between land 
and the sea. Seleucus seized Demetrius in Cilicia and killed him. [Demetrius] had been 
ruling in rebellion; and then [Seleucus] himself ruled all of Asia. The start of his reign 
which was 12 years following the death of Alexander also marks the inception of dating 
according to the Syrian Era. 

After the first Ptolemy ruled as king in Egypt, Ptolemy Philadelphius reigned for 38 
years. In his first year Ptolemy Ceraunus ruled over the Macedonians for one year. He 
was followed by Meleager for two months and Antipater for 26 days. After Antipater, 
Sosthenes ruled for two years. In the fifth year of Ptolemy [g74], Antiochus Soter 
reigned for 19 years, after Seleucus. In the sixth year of Ptolemy, Antigonus ruled over 
the Macedonians for 36 years. 

In this same year, the 34th year of the Syrian Era [B.C. 277], 72 translators translated 
[the Biblical] books on the island of Cyprus, though others say that it was done in 
Alexandria, Egypt. [The group of translators] comprised six men for each of the 12 



tribes of the children of Israel. [They were], 

[41] from the line of Ruben: Yovsepos, Ezekiel, Eghise'e', Zak'aria, 
Yovhanne's, Ezekiel; 

from the line of Shmawon: Juda, Shmawon, Ade', Samuel'l, Mat'e', Saghamia; 

from the line of Levi: Noam, Yovse'p', T'e'odos, Bosos, Urania, Tukisos; 

from the line of Juda: Jonathan, Abari, Elise', Anania, Zak'aria, Ezekia; 

from the line of Issachar: Isaac, Jacob, Jesu, Shmbat, Shmawon, Levi; 

from the line of Zebulon: Juda, Yovse'p', Shmawon, Zak'aria, Shmawon, 
Saghamia; 

from the line of Gad: Smbatia, Sedekia, Yakovb, Isahak, Esayi, Matt'e'os; 

from the line of Asher: T'e'odos, Yason, Jesu, T'e'odotos, Yovhanne's, 
Jonathan; 

from the line of Dan: T'e'op'ile', Abraham, Idasmos, Isan, Eremia, Daniel; 

from the line of Naphthali [g75]: Jeremiah, Lazaru, Zachariah, Bania, 
Eghishe', Tat'an; 

from the line of Benjamin: Yovhanne's, Ilawos, Edki, T'e'odos, Nersam, 
Ezekiel; 

from the line of Joseph: Caleb, Samuel, Joseph, Juda, Jonathan, T'osdi. 

They translated [the Bible] into Greek on the island of Cyprus, took [their work] to 
Egypt, and deposited it in the Palace. Others say that the place where the translation was 
made was on the island of Pharos. However, the truth is as we have described it. 

In 62 of the Syrian Era [B.C. 249] and after 72 years of submission to the Greeks, the 
eastern areas of the Persians and the East reasoned that "the Macedonians have split 
apart and have grown weak. Moreover, they are distant from us and keep us in disorder 
with torments. What is there between them and us? Come, let us have a king closer to 
us." And they enthroned over themselves in the city of Bahl, Arshak the brave, one of 
the descendants of Abraham from Kendura. This bordered the country of the Medes. 
Moreover the [people of] the land of the Hyrcanians who lived in the northern parts of 
the land of the Persians, when they saw that the House of the Persians had enthroned 



their own king, also enthroned a king of their own, sometimes obeying the Parthians and 
other times, not. 

[42] Similarly [g76] the Armenians [established their own king] after the brave, 
triumphant and frightening (tiezerasast, "to make to tremble") kings from the line of 
Hayk who had done away with the kingdom of the Medes and had subdued all the 
kingdoms of the North and all the surrounding peoples. We were unable to find this set 
down in their writing. We have not seen this described in their books and chronologies, 
and so we will write about it here. [Such Haykazean kings] ruled until Alexander who 
killed King Vahe' the Haykid and did away with the kingdom of the Armenians. [The 
Armenians had remained without a king] until this period, when again they established 
their kingdom from Palestine to the T'etalik', and to the other side of the Caspian Sea and 
Mount Caucasus. This [new line] began with Arshaks brother, Vagharshak, and endured 
until the last Arshak. We leave [a description of them] to other learned and trustworthy 
writers. 

Following Philadelphius, Ptolemy Eugertes (Arkadis) ruled Egypt. And in the same year 
there ruled over the Syrians Seleucus Callinicus, and over the Macedonians Demetrius 
Phillipus. In this period the High Priest was Onias, son of Simon the Just [g77]. This 
Onias did not want to pay taxes to Ptolemy and wanted to come to Jerusalem. They sent 
Josephus to make peace and he found favor before Ptolemy and received from him rule 
of the military over all Judah (Hre'astan). 

In 87 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 225] Seleucus Ceraunus ruled over the Syrians for three 
years. He was succeeded by Antiochus the Great for 36 years. It was in this period that 
the Maccabeans were martyred. 

In 93 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 219] Ptolemy Philapator ruled over the Egyptians for 17 
years. He greatly harassed the Jews. Antiochus fought with and defeated him, and then 
put Egypt under his rule. Leaving Egypt, he took Jerusalem. The first Book of 
Maccabees describes this. 

In 110 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 202] Ptolemy Epiphanes ruled over Egypt for 21 years. 
He sent the general Scopas who subdued Judah and Palestine. Then Antiochus arose 
against him [g78], defeated him, and took the cities for himself. This Antiochus paved 
the roads of the cities and placed markers calcd p'arsaxs [to measure distance] along the 
roads. He built stone bridges over rivers and streams and made the roads level to ease 
travelling. In the 1 1th year of his reign he made war against the Romans and was 
defeated. He sent his son to Rome as a hostage and provided a yearly tax of 1,000 talents 
of gold. This was the beginning of Syria's payment of taxes to Rome. 



[43] In the third year of Antiochus, Philip ruled over the Macedonians for 24 years. And 
it was in this time that the prophecy of Daniel was fulfilled which said that the king of the 
North would war against the king of the South — that is, Antiochus with Ptolemy. Some 
say that [Ptolemy] had given his daughter to him, but later took her back. 

This Antiochus died in the land of the Elamites, stoned to death in the temple of their 
goddess Nena [g79]. [Antiochus] had [earlier] become possessed by a demon. Shmona 
and her sons were killed by him. [Antiochus] then took the advice of the wise men who 
told him to have fetched the remains of the people he had killed, to fall on his face in 
front of them, and to repent. And [Antiochus] commanded that the relics be brought to 
him. They placed the remains in baskets and brought them by donkey until they 
approached the city of Hadax, where some folk encountered them and informed them of 
the king's death. They hid the remains at the place where they heard these tidings. 
Afterwards [the relics] were revaled through miracles. And they built a monastery there 
which exists to this day. 

After the death of Antiochus, Seleucus ruled and his loyal Diodorus greatly harassed the 
Jews and was punished by God. 

In 131 of the Syrian Era [B.C. 180] There ruled in Antioch Antiochus Epiphanes, son of 
Antiochus who had been a hostage in Rome for 1 1 years. He went against Ptolemy in 
Egypt and the Romans stopped him. And so he turned and went against Judah. He gave 
the dignity of High Priest to Onias' brother, Jason, which caused disturbance between the 
two [brothers]. Matthias, son of John, son of Shmawon the priest who was of the sons 
of Jonathan [g80] sat in Modin. He had five sons: John, Shmawon, Judah Maccabee, 
Eliezer Awaran, and Jonathan. He killed those who had transgressed God['s commands] 
and then arose with his sons onto the mountain and rebelled from Antiochus. 

In the year 149 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 162] Antiochus Epiphanes died in Persia, 
suffering [the same] blows as his father, through the anger of God. For it had been 
Antiochus the Great who had defiled the Temple by erecting in it the image of Zeus, and 
on Mount Gerizim he built a temple to Zeus Xanthus as the Samaritans had requested. In 
the 18th year of Ptolemy, Epiphanes Eupator ruled for two years. He greatly harassed 
[g81] the Jews. He sent his military commander, Xo'r'gho'ra, with 120,000 troops against 
Jerusalem. Eliezer died under an elephant and a great multitude of Jews were destroyed. 
When they buried them, they found underneath their clothes images of the idols. 

[44] In this period Onias, without God's command, built a temple at Elispontos in Egypt 
similar to the Temple of Jerusalem. Priestly activity was conducted there according to the 
[religious] laws. Judah Maccabee rennovated the Temple in Jerusalem which continued 
to flourish until [the era of] Titus and Vespasian. After Judah came Jonathan who was 



slain along with Alexander by Tryphon. Simon (Shmawon) then occupied his position. 
He sent to Rome a golden shield and had brought a bronze tablet as a sign of the oath of 
allegiance [g82]. And he sent his son John and destroyed the troops of Antiochus and 
was freed from their taxes. It was in this period that the second Book of Maccabees 
concluded. 

In 174 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 138] Simon was slain by Ptolemy and his place was 
taken by John. In these times a Jew became head of Edessa and remained in power until 
the ancestors of King Abgar came there. In this period John, the High Priest of the Jews, 
went to Hyrcania to war with them and for that reason was called Hyrcanus. In this 
period Antiochus Agrippa reigned. He came to Jerusalem and harassed them. John 
Hyrcanus opened the tomb of King David and removed gold and the ornaments of all 
the kings, and took 3,000 talents of gold. Of this he gave 300 talents to Antiochus [g83] 
who then departed. In this period Hyrcanus ruined Samaria. 

In the year 196 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 116], Antiochus Soter reigned in Egypt for 17 
years. In the same year Antiochus and Hyrcanus with him went and killed the king of the 
Parthians, Sistis (?). 

In the fourth year of Ptolemy, Antiochus Cyzikus ruled in Asorestan for 1 8 years. In the 
1 1th year of Ptolemy, John Hyrcanus died and his position was taken by Aristobulus, son 
of Jonathan, for one year. Earlier he had been crowned king [and now became] High 
Priest. His two brothers Alexander and Antiochus treacherously killed each other 
according to the prophesy of their father with whom God spoke. Following Aristobulus 
his other brother, John, called Yanne', took his position for 17 years. He tormented his 
own people, the Jews. 

In this period Ptolemy was chased away by his mother, Cleopatra, and [g84] Ptolemy 
Alexander ruled for 10 years. In his sixth year the kings of the Asians and Syrians were 
eliminated and Antioch submitted to the Romans. The books of the Old Testament and 
[their narrations] end at this point. From Adam to this point, 5,072 years [had elapsed], 
and from here until the birth of Our Lord is [an interval of] 124 years. The duration of 
the kings of Asia, from Seleucus who ruled after Alexander until the Romans ruled, was 
2 1 6 years. 

[45] In 222 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 90] the persecuted Ptolemy returned to his throne 
[and ruled for] eight years. In 237 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 75] Ptolemy Dionysius ruled 
for 30 years. He was the son of Soter and the brother of Cleopatra. In the fifth year of 
Ptolemy there died John Onias also called Alexander, and his wife, Alexandra, also called 
Salome who kept the [religious] laws, ruled the kingdom for nine years. She had three 
sons: Hyrcanus, Aristobulus, and Antiochus. Hyrcanus became the High Priest but his 



brother disputed with him until he took the kingdom. Then Pompey, the military 
commander of the Romans came and [g85] carried off Aristobulus in chains and 
established Hyrcanus as High Priest for 34 years. He [rejbuilt the wall of Jerusalem 
which had been demolished by Pompey. It was at this time that the Jews became tax 
payers to the Romans. Pompey took much territory from the Armenians, Syrians, and 
Arabs, and grew so great that he was styled Autocrator. 

In this period Ptolemy died and Cleopatra ruled for 22 years. In her second year Pompey 
was slain by Gaius Julius Caesar. 

Herod lived in these times. Here is his genealogy. [Herod's father] a man named 
Antipater, son of Herod, was from Ascalon and was chief priest of the idol of Apollo. He 
was enslaved by the Edomites and his father, Herod, was unable to save him. He was 
nourished and raised among the Edomites and took as a wife Cypridis, the daughter of 
Aretas, king of the Arabs. He became friendly with Hyrcanus [g86] the High Priest and 
helped him in his battle with his brother. For this he went to Pompey and became 
acquainted with the Romans. They designated him prince of the Jews. Now [Antipater] 
had four sons and a daughter named Salome. [The sons] Joseph and Phessalus were 
princes of the Jews with their father. One of the Jews poisoned Antipater and two of his 
sons, and then Herod became prince of the Jews in his father's place. In his hour of need 
[Herod] went to Rome and informed them [about the goings on]. 

In this period Barzaphran, the general of Armenia, came and enslaved Judah and took 
captive Hyrcanus, Herod's brother Pheroras, while Herod fled to Rome. For it happened 
that when Barzaphran, military commander of the Armenians, had come to Jerusalem 
and captured it, he deposed Hyrcanus and replaced him with Antigonus. Then 
[Barzaphran] took Hyrcanus and Pheroras to Armenia, bound in chains. Then he took 
over the kingdom [g87] of the Jews. [Herod] came [back] and killed Antigonus whom 
the Armenians had installed, and he himself sat [on the throne]. Then when Hyrcanus 
returned from the Bagratids [after] their attack on Jerusalem, Herod also killed him and 
his son, Jonathan. With this the prophecy was fulfilled which says: "Ruler and chief shall 
not depart from Judah until the one appears to whom the kingdom belongs" [Gen. 
49. 10]. It was at this point that leaders departed from the Jews. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



[46] And then it was that the Lord was born like a king's son in Bethlehem, in fulfillment 
of the [prophecy] of Daniel about the sevens, that "there shall be seven weeks and then 
sixty-two weeks" [Daniel 9.22-24; Jeremiah 29.20], beginning in the sixth year of Darius 
and lasting for all eternity. In Abgar's translation [of the Bible] it says that Daniel had 
grown ill and was dying by the Tigris River and he fell on his face and cried out to the 
Lord: "God, show me Your Christ before I die." And Gabriel came to him and said: 
"Rest in peace, oh fortunate man [g88] for the time has not yet come. First your 
[prophecy about the] sevens, then Christ will come and be crucified and He will come to 
you in Hell and free you. So comfort yourself with the hope of His coming" [Daniel 
9.21]. 

Before Daniel's vision, they used [the word] Bombios to style the designation of kings. 
But at this point they called them Autocrator. In this period the idols which were on 
[Mt.] Olympus were burned by lightning as Caesar Augustus reigned. This same 
emperor demolished the island of Lusitania and then began to wreck the islands one by 
one, since he found disturbances on them. But prior to this, there ruled Gaius called 
Julius. He was called "Caesar" which means in Latin "from the stomach" since this is 
how he was born, after his mother had died [g89]. It was his good fortune to rule as 
king, for kingship among the Romans had been disrupted for 462 years, from Tarquinius 
until Gaius Julius. From the founding of Rome until the second kingship, 702 years had 
elapsed. Now this Julius Caesar went to Egypt and strengthened the kingdom of the 
woman Cleopatra. The word "Gaius" translates kaynan. Andronicus says that [Caesar] 
ruled for five years before being slain secretly. Then Augustus reigned for 56 years and 
six months. 

In the eighth year of Augustus, Herod ruled over the Jews and obstructed their kingship 
and priesthood. He took the ephod and bestowed it for bribes. He ruled for 35 years. 
They did not accept him in Jerusalem at first, until he started to fight, pulling down the 
two walls and killing many of the Jews. Then it was that he ruled over them. It was he 
who arranged it that the High Priest would change each year [g90]. [Herod] sent to 
Babylon and had Ananias brought back. He made [Ananias] High Priest for a year, even 
though he was not a Levite. After him, he made Aristobulus High Priest. [Aristobulus] 
was son of the High Priest Hyrcanus and his brother's wife. Then [Herod] killed him and 



reinstated Ananias. He transgressed the limits of the law and changed them each year for 
bribes. As a result, there were many High Priests. However, when the time came for 
entering the Holy of Holies, none of them dared to do it. Only Zachariah and Abia were 
designated to enter, for they were not like the others, being pious and just. 

[47] In the third year of Augustus, Samosata fell under Roman control. The Armenian 
troops who had been near the Euphrates were defeated and gave taxes to Mesopotamia. 
In this period Augustus' general, Antony, rebelled from Augustus. He went to Egypt, 
attracted by the fame of Cleopatra with whom he fell in love. And he ruled with her. 
Then Augustus came against him and seized him. But at the entreaties of senators he let 
them live and things calmed down. Augustus sent a great number of captives to Rome 
from there. Cleopatra had a grudge against the Jews, and the Arabs [g91] and requested 
from Antony rule over them, which he gave to her. On this account a second disturbance 
arose between Augustus and Antony. Again Antony was defeated together with 
Cleopatra who also resisted Augustus. When Antony and Cleopatra saw themselves 
defeated, both committed suicide. Then Augustus killed Cleopatra's children [named] the 
Sun and the Moon. With this ended the Egyptians' monarchy, which [dynasty] the 
Greeks called Ptolemid, and which lasted for 296 years, and thereafter they were 
controlled by the Romans. Some say that after Augustus killed Antony, Cleopatra, and 
her children, he started to be called Sebastos, which means "victorious." 

In this period Judas the Galilean appeared in the city of Gamagha. He and the Pharisee 
Sadovk arose and said: "It is improper for us to pay taxes to the Romans." In the 19th 
year of Augustus, [Augustus] sent his military commander, Tiberius, to Armenia, and 
[g92] made peace with them. Returning from the Armenians he went to the land of 
Cyrenaica and subdued those folk who lived beyond Egypt. In this period Herod built up 
Samaria and called it Sebastia after Augustus' name. He built P'anion in P'ania, and 
enlarged the palace in Jerusalem. He built the tower called Strato's Tower in the city and 
named that city Caesarea, after the emperor. He rennovated Gabas in Galilee. [Herod] 
frequently shed blood: he killed his wife named Mari and killed all those wise men 
among the Jews who knew the law. 

In this time glad tidings came to the Blessed Virgin, and after nine months and five days 
she bore the life-giving Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. This was in the 43rd year 
of Herod, which is 315 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 4]. From Adamf's expulsion from Eden] 
until the birth of Christ 5,284 years had elapsed, this according to Eusebius. But 
according to the Septuagint it was [g93] 5,198 years. According to Ananius it was 5,091, 
and according to others, 5,503 years. According to the Syrians it was 5,026 years. [Jesus' 
birth] took place at the end of the year in the 12th month, on a Monday. Accordingly, 
that time arrived and Jesus Christ, the anointed of God, was born in Bethlehem of 
Judah in the 44th year of the reign of Augustus. And the fire that descended from 



Heaven burned the homage paid to those idols, which supposedly housed deities, on 
Mount Olympus. 

[48] This transpired in the first year of the reign ofAbgar, and the 32nd year of Herod. 
Thus, in the temporal sense, our King Abgar was reigning at the same time as our 
Lord. According to the Septuagint, this occurred in the 5,108th year from Adam. 
According to Eusebius, [the birth of Jesus] took place in the 5,284th year; according to 
Anianus, 5,091 years; according to others, 5,503 years. Now according to the Syrians 
it was 5,026 years [from Adam]. [The birth occurred] on the first of [the month of] 
Nisan, on a Monday in a year of 12 months. It was at the time when Cyrenius was sent 
by the Senate to Syria and Palestine to take a census and levy taxes. For Rome had 
heard about the rebellious Theudas and Judas who were saying that the Jews should 
not pay taxes to a mortal king, and it was furious. This unprecedented measure was a 
result of the rebels. 

In the 43rd year of Augustus, the Senate of Rome sent Prince Kiwrianos to make a 
census of the Jews and impose a tax. This was the cause of Judas the Galilean and many 
others saying: "It is not right that we should pay taxes to a mortal man." This was heard 
in Rome and [the Romans] were angry and did that [conduct a census] which had not 
been done until then. 

In this same period our Lord was born. Lucianus the Roman, who was in this area 
described it. He wrote to the emperor telling him what had happened and saying: 
"Persians have come and entered your realm. They have brought gifts for a child born in 
Judah. But who he is or who his parents are, we still have not heard." Then the emperor 
wrote back: "We have established Herod as king over the Jews. He will write to us." The 
Magi arrived in the 35th year of Herod. Eusebius and Niwsats'i [the Nysian] say that the 
Magi [g95] were descendants of Baghaam, while Jacob of Edessa says that they were 
descendants of Shem from the line of Ham. Others say that they were descendants of the 
kings of Arab and Saba according to the words of David. They were three kings as three 
people offered gifts. Some say, with Micah, that they were eight kings, eight rulers of 
men. Saint James says they were 12 princes. It was found in books that [they came with] 
3,000 cavalry and 500 infantry. When they reached the Euphrates River, at the place 
called Callinicus, which is Ragha, and learned that there was famine in Judah, they left 
their multitude there and 12 princes with 1,000 cavalry went on and saw [Jesus]. When 
they had seen him, they returned to their troops. Their names were: 

[49] Dahandur, son of Artawaz, 
Shat'e'p', son of Gudbar, 
Arshak, son of Mahdug, 
Zrewant, son of Variguid, 



Arihu, son of Xostrov, 

Artashe's, son of Uliat', 

Esht'ank'uza, son of Ishron, 

Mehduk', son of Hum, 

Ark'shirish, son of Sahapan, 

Saltana, son of Beltan, and Marudok', son of Bel. 

The name of the king who sent them was P'ir-Shapuh. Some say that it was two years 
after [g95] the birth that the Magi arrived, but others say that they were advised by the 
stars two years in advance and then they arose and came. The Lord was born at night, 
and the Magi arrived in the morning. Mary, the Mother of God, remained in Bethlehem 
for 40 days and then went to the Temple. The old man Simon took the Anointed One in 
his arms. By the command of the Holy Spirit [Simon], who was one of the Translators 
[of the Septuagint], was kept alive from the time of Ptolemy. Now when [Simon] had 
been translating, the [book of the] prophet Isaiah, he came to the passage which says: 
"Behold a virgin will get pregnant and give birth" [Isaiah 7. 14]. When he had written this 
[translation] he regretted it and said: "How will the pagans believe this? Rather, they will 
laugh at us." He erased what he had just written and again was saddened and said: "But 
my colleagues will translate this [passage] and I will be ridiculed because of the 
discrepancy [of having omitted it]." In sorrow, he and his colleagues fell asleep and when 
they awoke they saw [that passage] written, as it were, in wondrous gold letters. 
Overjoyed, Simon wept and envied the era of the one born from a virgin, the eyes which 
would see Him and the lips which would kiss Emmanuel. Then the Spirit said to him: 
"You will not see death until you have seen the Anointed One." And the word of the 
Lord was fulfilled. At that time [when the promise was made] Simon was 60 years old 
[g96], and he lived an additional 344 years until his wish came true. Now Joseph and 
Mary took the child and went to Nazareth after presenting [Him in the Temple]. At the 
angel's order they went to Egypt 62 years after the birth of the Lord. Others say that they 
went there two years after. 

Herod destroyed the children, having been fooled by the Magi. He furiously burned the 
writings of the Jews and wiped out recollection of the kingdom and the priesthood so that 
he and his own sons should inherit the kingdom. However, by the providence of God, 
these writings were preserved in Egypt and in other lands. And God struck Herod with 
wicked pains from head to foot. All his limbs festered and the doctors were unable to 
help him. They put him into warm olive oil [as a treatment] and his pains increased. He 
seized the principal folk of the Jews and put them into prison. And then he ordered his 
son-in-law, Alexius, and his sister, Salome, that when he died, they should kill [the 
people he had imprisoned]. That way, the Jews, unwillingly, would weep on the day of 
his death. And they actually did this. [Herod], tormented by wicked pains, killed himself 
— dying wickedly in the 35th year of his reign. Augustus designated [Herod's] son 



Archelaus as king. He ruled for nine years. After nine years he was exiled to the city of 
Vienna (Bena) because of his wickedness. Rule was taken by the tetrarch named Herod. 
In the same year Augustus died and Tiberius reigned for 23 years. 

[50] The first Herod had nine wives and eight sons. From Dosios, he fathered Antipater, 
the [son] who killed his two brothers and was slain by his father. From Mari, who was 
Hyrcanus' daughter, he fathered Alexander and Aristobulus. [Aristobulus] was killed by 
Antipater as was the Herod called Antipater, the one who married Herodiade and killed 
John [the Baptist]. From the Samaritan Melkos, [King Herod] fathered Archelaus who 
ruled after him. From Cleopatra of Jerusalem [Herod fathered] Herod and Philip [g98]. 
[The latter] took Herodiade from his brother as a wife. Later he, Philip, was slain by her. 
From Pallas, [King Herod] fathered Phazael. 

[King Herod's] grandsons were as follows: Aristobulus, Alexander's brother, fathered 
Herod who ruled as king in Chalcis; Agrippa, called Herod, was the one who killed 
James, brother of John [the Baptist] and died worm-eaten. He expelled his father-in-law 
and took over the kingdom. He had a son named Agrippa, who ruled after him, as well 
as the daughters Berenice and Drusilla who became the wife of Prince Felix. In the 14th 
year of Tiberius, which is 337 [of the Syrian Era, A.D. 15], Pilate was sent as prince to 
Judah, and one year later — 5,537 years after Adam, the Lord was baptized in the Jordan 
by John. This was on January 6, which is the 2 1 st of the month of Tebeth, on a Sunday. 

That same year Germanicus Caesar became more powerful against the Parthians, and 
Tiberius made Drusus (Turt'e'os) part of his realm. He himself was poisoned to death. In 
the same year the palace of Pompey burned down. In Tiberius' time, Herod built [g99] 
[the cities of] Tiberius and Bayis. Pilate put the image of Zeus in the Temple and the 
Temple's treasures were squandered [on building an acqueduct] in the water. 

In this year the Apostles were chosen: 



[51] 1. Simon Peter, from the clan of Nepthali. It was he who built the first altar in 
Antioch. In the time of Emperor Claudius, [Peter] went to Rome, remaining there for 25 
years. In the 13th year he was martyred by Nero. 

2. Andrew, his brother, who preached in Nicaea and Nicomedia, in Scythia and Achaea. 
The first [episcopal] throne at Ephesus was his. 

3. James, son of Zebedee, from the clan of Zabulon, who was slain by Herod Agrippa. 
His body was buried at Marmarike'. 

4. John, his brother, who preached in [the district of] Asia. He lived until the seventh 



year of Trajan and died [glOO] a glorious death. 

5. Philip, from the clan of Azer, in Beth Said. He preached in Africa and was buried in 
Pisidia. 

6. Bartholomew, from the clan of Issachar, from the village of Adawir, who preached 
among the Armenians and died in a wondrous martyrdom in the city of Ubianos, which 
is now called Haghbat. [He was martyed by] the wicked and pagan Sanatruk. 

7. Thomas, from the clan of Judah preached among the Parthians, Medes, and Indians 
and was martyred there. 

8. Matthew, from the clan of Issachar, from Nazareth. He died in Gabala, was burried at 
Antioch and later [his remains] were transported overseas. 

9. Simon the Canaanite, from the clan of Ephrem, reposed in Hama, though in another 
place we found it given as Cyrrus. 

10. Judas, called Thaddeus who, because of his wisdom was called Lebeos, which means 
heart and soul, preached in Armenia and Asorestan and was martyred by Sanatruk in 
Armenia, at the place where he struck a rock and 1 3 streams gushed forth. The names of 
the Twelve Apostles and the other, our Savior Jesus Christ, remain till this day as a cure 
for all diseases and sicknesses. [Judas'] venerable body [glOl] and the relics of his bones 
and of the blessed Sanduxt, were buried at the sites of their martyrdom. 

11. James, son of Alphe from the line of Manasseh, who died in Seruj. Judas the 
betrayer from the line of Dan from the village of Iscariot. 

12. Matthew, his replacement, from the line of Ruben, [who was martyred] in the 
country of the cannibals. 



[52] Josephus wrote about our Lord as follows: "In our day there appeared a man named 
Jesus who worked many miracles. It was clear that he was the Christos. Out of envy, 
they betrayed him to the judge Pilate. They killed him on the cross. But after three days 
they saw him alive and those who believed in him did not quit him. And it was confirmed 
that he himself was the son of the living God." 

Now according to Josephus' testimony, the Twelve Apostles, whom we named above, 
were the first to believe in Him. Then they chose 72 disciples, named as follows: 



1. Ade' 

2. Axe' 

3. Lazarus 

4. Anania 

5. Yakovb 

6. Eghia 

7. Barnabas 

8. Sosthenes 

9. Cyriaque 

10. Yovse'p* 

1 1 . Nicodemus 

12. Nathaniel 

13. Judas 

14. Justus 

15. Sylla 

16. Barnabas 

17. Yovhanne's who is Mark 

18. Amius 

19. Nigh 

20. Yason 

21. Manil 

22. Kiwrine' 

23. Alexandrus 

24. Shmawon 

25. Kiwrine' 

26. Lukios 

27. Cleophas 

[Page 53] 

28. Sime'on 

29. Yovsa 

30. Budisos 

31. Diwstros 

32. Zabidon 

33. Titus 

34. Patroba 

35. Ermi 

36. Ason Kritos 

37. Priscus 

38. Luke 



39. Aristobulus 

40. Demas 

41. Timothy 

42. Levi 

43. Ephrem 

44. Herovde's 

45. Silubanos 

46. Nicetas 

47. Yovhanne's 

48. T'e'odos 

49. Nikos 

50. Martulos 

51. Lasion 

52. Zak'aria, son of a widow who died in Nayin 

53. Simon [gl03] the leper 

54. Stephen 

55. Eustace (Stak'os) 

56. Apeghe's 

57. Iston 

58. Shmawon 

59. Yovse'p', who is Barnabas 

60. Erasos 

61. Aminas 

62. Yulios 

63. Philipos 

64. Prok'oron 

65. Nikanovr 

66. Timon 

67. Parmena 

68. Agabos 

69. Kep'as, about whom Paul said that he would turn against him. 

[54] And Paul himself a vessel of selection who — although he considered himself 
unworthy to write [the Gospel] — was a great [figure] for everyone. 

In this period Philo the philosopher, an Alexandrian Jew, appeared. He wrote about 
events of the Jews, about Gaius who deified himself, about the ascetics of Egypt, an 
interpretation of Genesis, about the products of the earth, about the mentality of the just, 
who pray upon rising. [Philo wrote] about the decay of language, on the work of 
teaching, on the diverse names of writings, and on two Testaments, five homilies about 
seeing things in dreams, five homilies about the spirit leaving the body, four homilies on 



the laws [of the faith], and many other things. In the days of Emperor Claudius his 
writings were placed in the royal treasuray in Rome. 

In this period there were seven sects [gl04] among the Jews, as Josephus tells us. First 
were the Scribes, called the Law[keepers]; second were the Levites who held the ancient 
traditions; third were the Pharisees, who believed in resurrection as did the Scribes, and 
also in angels and the soul. They fasted twice a week, baptized frequently, believed in 
astrology and fortunes. [The] fourth [sect] were the Saducees who did not accept 
resurrection, angels, and the soul, and were named after a certain priest called Sadovk. 
[The] fifth [sect] were the Baptists who said that a man could not live unless he was 
baptized every day. Sixth were the Abstainers who did not eat anything animate and did 
not accept Moses and the prophets and they had other [sacred] writings instead of what 
[the others] had. Seventh were those who keep the faith, accept the prophets, and God in 
one person, and they do not comprehend the power of Scripture. 

In the 19th year of Emperor Tiberias, Abgar, king of the Armenians [gl05], wrote a 
letter of entreaty to Jesus and [sent it] via his loyal [envoy] Anania, begging Him to come 
to him and be his co-ruler. [Abgar] believed in Him and revered Him before His 
torments. And Jesus wrote an answer felicitating Abgar. He promised that after His 
resurrection He would send to him through one of His disciples a preacher and cause of 
life. [Abgar] because of the warmth of his love for our Lord again sent the artist 
Yovhanne's to make His picture and bring it back so that he might enjoy it. Yovhanne's 
went but was unable to duplicate His beauty because it was transformed from glory to 
glory. The artist was amazed. Then this source of pity and mercy requested the napkin, 
put it over His face, and impressed His features on it. This occurred 24 days before His 
torments. [The cloth] was brought back and given to Abgar, and very great miracles and 
wonders resulted from it prior to the arrival of the Apostle Thaddeus. In the same year 
[gl06] the Lord died, was buried, resurrected, and appeared to His students. He blessed 
them, confessing the Holy Spirit. And then He ascended to Heaven. Now in that same 
year on the day of Pentecost, Pilate introduced the image of Caesar into the Temple, as 
Josephus informs, and a voice was heard from the Divine Grace there, saying: "I depart 
from this place and will never return." Philo recalls this in his second book. 

[55] In the 19th year of Emperor Tiberias, Abgar, king of the Armenians and Syrians, 
heard the news about Our Lord, worshipped and believed in Him. He sent Him a letter 
via his loyal [envoy] , Anania, beseeching Him to come and heal his own ailments. 
[These were ailments] he had acquired some seven years previously in Persia. And 
[Abgar asked Jesus] to rule along with him. 

Now the Lord promised that after His crucifixion and resurrection He would send a 
physician from among His disciples to heal him, and He also made him worthy of a 



reply and greetings. 

The fortunate king, to satisfy his longing sent his painter John to make a portrait of 
Him in place of His presence. John came and saw Jesus and tried to capture His beauty 
on the fabric Abgar [had provided] . But he was unable to do this, because [Jesus' face] 
was transformed from glory to glory and rejoiced in the faith [He would bring] to the 
heathens. And so, the Source of Kindness asked him for the cloth, placed it over His 
face, and impressed His features upon it. Then He returned it to the painter. 

This occurred seven days before the Passion of Christ. The icon was brought and 
presented to the king and it worked many miracles before the coming of the Apostle 
Thaddeus [to Edessa] . That same year the Lord voluntarily died on the Cross, was 
buried, resurrected, destroyed Hell, freed creation, and after 40 days rose to the Father. 

Here is what Josephus wrote: 

In our day a man appeared who was named Jesus. By the number of miracles 
he worked, it appeared that he was the Christ. But because of jealousy, the 
impious betrayed him to the judge Pilate, and they crucified him. After three 
days, he was seen alive. Those who believed in him did not abandon their 
faith in him. And to the present, the belief in him grows. And it was confirmed 
that He was the Christ, son of the Living God. 

[56] Josephus adds that during the same year at the time of the feast of Pentacost, 
Pilate placed an image of the emperor in the Temple. And a voice was heard saying: "I 
will leave this place and never return. " Philo recalls the same thing in his second book. 

Now concerning the seamless robe of the Lord, Saint Ephrem records that the soldiers 
cast lots for it, rather than divide it up. It fell to a soldier under the command of the 
centurion Longinus, who subsequently took it and brought it to the land of the 
Galatians, to his own city ofMok'son, where it is revered to this day. Another 
centurion, a Laz, delivered his portion of the clothing to his own city ofP'ud [Poti in 
Mingrelia] , the capital of the Egerians, where it was placed in a glass vessel and 
suspended in the Church where it remains, untouched by anyone and visible to 
everyone. This was the seamless robe woven by Abgar' s sister and presented to Our 
Lord by the messenger Anania. 

Agrippa went to Rome where he accused his father-in-law, Herod. [And Herod] was 
arrested by Tiberius. Abgar, king of the Armenians, wrote to him three times about 
Christ's divinity, and complaining about the Jews. [Abgar] also wrote to Nerseh in 
Babylon and to the Persian king. This was done through God's providence so that there 



would not be conflict about the new faith and so at first the spread of the blessed Gospel 
would proceed without resistance. [Christianity] quickly spread during the reigns of these 
kings who did not reject Christ's divinity. This was influenced by King Abgar [gl07] the 
first blessed king who extended his hand to Christ, just as David had said. Tiberius, after 
living 78 years died, having reigned for 23 years. 

Herod reigned for 23 years. It was he who killed John [the Baptist], and Herod was 
punished by the Lord together with his wife. They were put in prison in fetters in 
Pawania [in Spain], and then both of them were killed. After Tiberius, Gaius reigned. He 
removed Agrippa from prison and made him king of the Jews. At the same time he sent 
the judge Felix to Egypt where he greatly harassed the Jews for five years and polluted 
their place of worship with unclean sacrifices. For this reason [the Jews] sent envoys to 
beseech Gaius. [The delegation] included the Hebrew philosopher Philo of Alexandria. 
But [Gaius] did not listen to them. Instead he sent the prince of the Syrians to Patrania to 
put his image in all the sanctuaries and temples [gl08] to be worshipped as a god. And 
thus was fulfilled what was said in Daniel [9.27] about [reaching] the depths of 
abomination. 

In this period there appeared Simon, Kerindos, and Menander. And Philo and [the 
Apostle] Peter met one another in Rome and conversed with each other in the presence 
of Gaius. Philo asked John, who was a student of Christ: "What is God?" and John 
replied: "God is love." When Philo accepted this, [John] took him to his home, became 
friends with him and, [Philo] believed and was baptized. Gaius was slain by one of the 
eunuchs because of his extreme severity. He had reigned for four years. Then Claudius 
reigned for 14 years. Agrippa ruled for seven years after being tetrarch for three years. 
He attacked Herod and later the angel of God struck and killed him [gl09]. 

[57] During Claudius' reign, [one time] on the feast of Passover, suddenly there was a 
mob in Jerusalem at the Temple. Thirty thousand people trampled each other to death. 
Claudius set up Agrippa's son, Agrippa, as king of the Jews and sent Felix as judge for 
the Galileans and Samarians. Claudius, after reigning for 1 3 years, died in his own home. 
Then Nero ruled the kingdom for 13 years. [Nero] sent Fesrus and removed Felix, 
before whom Paul had appeared. Once again Nero removed Festus and put Lambius in 
his place. Then he removed [Lambius] and put Belurus in his position. It was during his 
tenure that the Jews revolted from Caesar. In this period in Rome fire fell from the sky 
and burned many structures with mobs of people in them. Nero, in the 13th year of his 
reign, started a persecution against the Church and killed the Apostles. He sent Vespasian 
and his son Titus to Jerusalem because of the rebellion of the Jews. 

Now the general and historian Josephus was fortified in the city of Yodfat (Iotapata). 
Vespasian went there, took [gl 10] the city of Yodfat and destroyed it. General Josephus 



went before him and said: "I bring glad tidings to you, Vespasian, for soon Nero will die 
and you will rule in his place." For this reason, [Vespasian] did not kill him. Meanwhile 
Nero, who was loathed by everyone, killed himself. Then Galba ruled for seven months 
and was killed in Rome. Suratolos ruled in Germany and Otho ruled in Rome. [The 
latter] killed himself after three months. Then Vitellius ruled for eight months, but a mob 
went against him and killed him. When news of this reached Vespasian's troops who 
were with him, they declared him emperor and Dictator. When this happened, Vespasian 
[gill] left his son Titus over Jerusalem and went to Egypt, subduing those areas for 
himself. From those parts he went by sea to Rome and ruled over them for nine years 
and nine months. 

Titus took Jerusalem on the feast of Passover and 1,260,000 Jews died. Jerusalem was 
pulled apart completely and the Temple was burned in the month of Ahek [August]. 
From the time of Adamf's expulsion from Eden] 5,437 years had elapsed, and from the 
resurrection of our Lord, 40 years. From the initial construction until [this] destruction, 
2,192 years had elapsed. Jerusalem was taken in the third year of Vespasian. Prior to this 
there were 3,000,000 [people] in Jerusalem. On that Passover when they assembled, 
there were sacrificed for Passover 250,000 lambs and each lamb fed [gl 12] ten pure 
people, while the impure were unable to eat. Those who ate totalled 2,100,000. Sixty 
thousand people died from the sword, 1,100,000 died of hunger, and 100,000 were 
taken captive. Those over the age of 1 5 were sent to Egypt to work at making bricks, 
while those under 1 5 were divided up among the troops. This was the 40 year period that 
God gave as time [for the Jews] to repent, and when they did not repent [God] exacted 
vengeance for the blood of the son of God. With this, the kingdom of the Jews ended. 
There remained only the kingdom of the Romans throughout the whole world, with the 
exception of the Armenians who also had their own kings. 

[58] After Vespasian, his son Titus reigned. In his second year he was deified by the 
troops and, in his impious mind, he himself believed this. An angel of the Lord struck 
him and he died. Then his brother Domitian reigned for 15 years and five months. He 
expelled from Rome all the astrologers and witches and also commanded that vineyards 
not be planted. In this period [gl 13] Christianity grew. Patrophilus asked his teacher 
Ursinus: "What does it mean that such a multitude believe in a man who was crucified? 
[Even] the philosophers Theodorus of Athens, Africanus of Alexandria, and Martinus 
the hypatos believe in him, abandoning the pleasures of this world" [Ursinus] replied: 
"Do not be surprised by this, for I believe that the very gods have submitted to him. And 
[Patrophilus] asked: "How is that?" [Ursinus] said: "It is because his doctrine, which is 
about purity, innocence, and unselfishness, makes it clear that it is above all those other 
doctrines." 

Domitian stopped the induction of eunuchs into the army. During his reign two months 



had their names changed: September [became] Germanus, and October [became] 
Parthenicus. Domitian also ordered that the race of David be exterminated, so that 
there would be no heir to the kingdom of the Jews. He also persecuted many Christians, 
among whom was the evangelist John. 

In this period Apollonius of Tyana made many talismans with much diabolical power and 
said: "Alas that the son of Mary preceded me. Otherwise, I would have subdued the 
entire world through my art." Now Domitian was killed because of the severity of his 
ways and the line of Vespasian was eliminated. Then Nerva, who ruled for one year, and 
was declared a god by the Senate, sickened with disease and died. He was followed by 
Trajan [gll4] for 19 years. He persecuted Christians and Simon, son of Cleophas bishop 
of Jerusalem and Ignatius, bishop of Antioch were martyred. At the emperor's order 
Plinius Secundus killed many Christians. However, he repented and wrote to Trajan, 
saying: "The Christians are good in everything, except that they do not sacrifice to the 
idols and they worship Christ in the morning." [Trajan] responded: "Kill them." 

[59] In this period the Jews in Egypt rebelled and made [a man] named Lysias (Lumbas) 
their king. He took the Jews and went to Jerusalem. Then Trajan sent Lucius who 
destroyed myriads of them. In these time the Jews of Cyprus fought against [gl 15] the 
city of Salamis. Having taken the city, they killed the Greeks in it. Similarly, the Jews in 
Libya fought and warred with the Greeks. The Greeks in Alexandria and in Cyrene 
started a war and were destroyed by them. In this period the philosopher Secundus the 
Silent appeared. After Trajan, Hadrian reigned for 21 years. 

In the fourth year of his reign the [line of] Armenian kings at Edessa came to an end. 
Princes remained there while the kingship remained in Greater Armenia. After Trajan, 
Hadrian ruled for 21 years. In the fourth year of his reign the kings [i.e., sovereignty] 
came to an end in Edessa. In Greater Armenia a king remained. In the 18th year of 
Hadrian, the Jews of Jerusalem rebelled, deceived by a man named Star [Bar Kochba]. 
Hadrian sent [troops] and crushed them and expelled the Jews from Jerusalem, such that 
they did not dare even to look toward Jerusalem. He demolished Jerusalem and near it 
built [gl 16] a city Ilius Hadrianus, settling Christians and pagans in it. He ordered that 
the ears of the Jews be cut off so that they would be noticeable wherever they were. He 
also stipulated that Christians should not be persecuted without cause. In the 21st year of 
his reign the first Council was held at Nicaea with 23 bishops, and they anathematized 
Sabellius the Libyan who said that the Holy Trinity was contained in one person. They 
also anathematized Valentinian who claimed that [Christ's] body had been brought from 
heaven. The translator Aquillus lived in these days. 

Following Hadrian, Antoninus Pius (Titus) — called Sebastus and Abgar — and his sons 
ruled for 22 years. [The name] Antoninus translates as "father of the land." In his day 



Justin of Nicopolis, which is near Jerusalem [gl 17], went to Rome and gave a letter of 
petition to the emperor and the persecutions of Christians ceased. In his day Polycarpus, 
the bishop of Smyrna, was martyred [A.D. 155]. At this time Cerdon, who is Marcion, 
and Mark came to Rome saying that there had been no resurrection, and that the 
[religious] laws were wicked. Nor would they say that Jesus the son was the one about 
whom the faith and the prophets had prophesied, but rather the son of the invisible 
benefactor. And they were witches. When baptizing they would speak "in the name of 
the invisible father, the true mother, and in the name of the son which descended on 
Jesus." And they added other things to this. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



[60] In 475 of the Syrian [A.D. 163] there reigned [gl 1 8] Marcus Aurelius along with 
the son of Antoninus and Lucius, for 19 years. In the first year of their reign, Vagharsh 
(Vaghk'e'sh), who was ruling over the Persians, came to the land of the Romans and laid 
waste many districts. Antoninus, Lucius, and brothers went against them and subdued 
Parthia and Persia. Lucius [Verus], who had grown strong, was designated Caesar 
among his brothers. There were also wars among the Romans and Germans, the Karuts 
(?), Sarmatians, and Galileans. Again Lucius grew powerful and was called Autocrator. 
[Lucius] ruled for nine years and died. Antoninus took his son, Commodus, as a co-ruler 
in the kingdom, since he was harassed by those around him. Antoninus sickened and 
died. Then Commodus [gl 19] ruled for 13 years and was strangled in his stable. After 
him Pertinax ruled for six months and was slain. Then Severus ruled for 18 years. In his 
first year there was a great war between the Jews and the Samarians. In [Severus'] ninth 
year he stirred up persecution of Christians and many were martyred. 

In his day there arose a barbarian people in the northwest. Severus went against them 
and was killed. Then his son Caracalla (Antoninus) ruled for seven years. He returned 
those who had been exiled because of their faith. One such was Alexander, [bishop] of 
Jerusalem. Caracalla was killed in Mesopotamia, between Edessa and Harran. Then 
Macrinus (Makar) ruled for one year [A.D. 217-218] and was killed. Then Antoninus 
[Elagabalus] reigned for four years. In his time Nicopolis was built in the land of the 
Philistines [gl20] and called Emmaus. After him ruled Alexander, son of the pious and 
believing woman Mame, who effected many good things for Christians. In the third year 
of his reign, in the year 542 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 231] there ruled in Persia Artashir, 
son of Babak. With him begins the Persian kingdom which lasted for 418 years and is 
called the kingdom of the Sasanians. Twenty-seven kings [of that line] ruled one after the 
other, until the Arab kingdom of Muhammad arose and eliminated it. 

After Alexander, Philip ruled for seven years, and the Christians were in peace. In his 
first year Shapur, son of Artashir, ruled for 31 years. In this period the thousandth 
anniversary of the building of Rome was completed. Decius killed Philip and [gl21] his 
son and ruled for one year, to be slain by Burdos [Herenius]. Then for a year there ruled 
Burinos [Hostilian] and Damurinos, and Gaghos, and Balos. Then there ruled Valerian 
(Uliranos) and Gallienus [253-268] (Gagheros) for 15 years. And they stirred up 



persecution against the Church. Shapuh, king of the Persians, laid waste Syria and Cilicia 
and Cappadocia with slave taking. Goths crossed the Danube River, enslaved the land 
and took their captives back with them. And then Gallienus stopped persecuting the 
church of God and, by the grace of God, the faith grew through miracles performed by 
the hands of holy men, and so that God would exact vengeance from the persecuting 
kings, those enemies of truth. 

[61] In the year 588 [of the Syrian Era, A.D. 276] Claudius ruled for one year. After him 
Aurelian ruled [gl22] for six years and six months. He built another wall for Rome, 
renewed persecutions, was struck by lightning and died. And the persecution ceased. 
Then Tacitus (Tartianos) ruled for six years [months], until he was slain in Pontus. Then 
Florian ruled until he was killed in Cilician Tarsus. Meanwhile Hurmazd ruled in Persia. 

In 593 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 282] Constantine was born. Following Florian, Probus 
reigned for seven years. In the same year Vahram reigned in Persia for three years. After 
Vahram his son reigned for 15 years. Now when the senator wanted to rebel against 
Rome, he fortified himself in Antioch, but he was slain. Following Probus, Cams and his 
sons Carinus and Numerianus ruled for two years. Cams died in Mesopotamia while 
Numerianus was killed in Africa and Carinus died fighting in Cappadocia. Then 
Diocletian mled and here began dating according [gl23] to [Diocletian's] era, which 
began in 594 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 283]. After Diocletian, there mled Maximianus, 
whose sister was Diocletian's wife and Maxindes, who was Maximian's son ruled in 
Rome while Constantine mled in Gaul. Both reigned at the same time [in the West]. 
Diocletian and Maximian mled jointly in the East. In these times Egypt rebelled. The 
Romans went to subdue it and many were slain. In the 1 1th year of Diocletian, Narseh 
mled in Persia for seven years. He was followed by his son Hurmazd [II, 302-309] for 
five years. Now in the 19th year of Diocletian churches were demolished, persecutions 
increased, and with this came a severe famine to the point that one modi of grain cost 
2,5000 drams. And then, because of [gl24] Diocletian's wickedness God stmck him. He 
gave up the kingdom to Maximian who was no less evil. As for Diocletian himself, he 
was troubled by various pains and he festered. [Diocletian] knew that this blow was from 
God and wrote a letter of peace for the Church and [permitting Church] building. 
Maximian did not want this and was unable to cancel the order. Rather, he temporarily 
stopped the persecution. But again he claimed that "the gods command that we continue 
the persecution" and he started to persecute and to remove Christians from the city. And 
then the land was punished by plague and so much premature death, to the point that ten 
corpses were buried in one grave. He intensified warfare with the Armenians and the 
wrath [of God] came upon him and he died in bitter pain. 

[62] After this Constantine's father, Constant, mled. He had two wives, Helena and 
Theodora, Maximian's daughter. In the eighth year of his reign, he associated with 



himself as ruler [gl25] his son Constantine, Helene's son, who was co-ruler with his 
father for three years. Then the father died, and Constantine ruled in 623 of the Syrian 
Era [A.D. 312]. John of Asia says that the father had turned to worshipping [the 
Christian] God and that Sylvester cured the father of leprosy. Peter and Paul had 
appeared to Constant, advising him to summon Sylvester to baptize him. Socrates the 
Roman testifies to this. Ignatius of Melitene says that when [gl26] Constantine ruled 
[others were ruling]: Maximian, the other Maximian, Maxence, and Severus, all four of 
whom were persecutors and that when Severus died, his princes gave the kingdom to 
Constantine and declared as Caesar his son-in-law, Licinus. After ruling for seven years, 
Constantine made Licinus his co-ruler. [Licinus] secretly persecuted Christians and 
subsequently rebelled and was killed by him. 

In the third year of Constantine, Shapur reigned as king of the Persians for 70 years. 
Constantine went to battle against Maximian who was in Rome. [Constantine] reasoned 
with himself, saying: "The idols in no way helped former kings." And he declared: "If 
God helps me in this war, I shall worship Him." In the middle of the day he saw a radiant 
cross with writing on it that said: "With this shall you conquer." Others with him also saw 
it. That night Christ appeared and said to him: "Make a model of [the cross] which 
appeared to you and you shall triumph." Arising at dawn, he did this. And so it became a 
law of [gl27] Christian emperors to put a cross at the head [of the army]. When the 
battle took place, the cross which had appeared did conquer the impious one who was 
drowned in the Tiber River. Now Constantine's wife, Diocleta, was Diocletian's daughter. 
The two of them were baptized together since Constantine still had not been baptized. 

In this period the great Gregory, who was glorifying Armenia with very great miracles, 
converted all the Armenians to the faith. [Gregory] was to them a preacher and chief 
priest with venerable grace like the blessed Apostles of Christ. In these times appeared 
the sun of the East, the wonderful Grigorios Part'ew [Gregory the Illuminator] . With 
very great and unusual miracles he illuminated all the Armenians in the diocese of [the 
apostles] Thaddeus and Bartholemew, resembling them in every way It was he who 
baptized his relative King Trdat and, taking him, went joyfully to Constantine, 
witnessing many miracles along the way 

Constantine greeted them and held festivals to celebrate their arrival, with [all the 
grandeur of] his kingdom. 

[63] They consulted together about the regulation of the Church, and about the good of 
the land, and they made an unbreakable vow with each other. Then [the Armenians] 
returned to their own land filled with honors and gifts. 

In the third year of his reign Constantine enlarged Byzatium, making it grow by [gl28] 



four mils. He adorned it with ornaments and transferred the [seat of the] empire to it 
from Rome. He called it Constantinople after his own name. He made its inhabitants 
free, built a church to the great Irene and another [church] named after the blessed 
Apostles. He appeared as the sole Autocrator, placing all his cares in the hands of God. 
He ordered that churches should be built throughout the country and that the pagan 
temples be demolished. [Constantine] also made it a law that no one should be a soldier 
or horseman who had not experienced [re]birth in the blessed [baptismal] font. T'e'odos 
says that artists adorned boards and masonry [gl29] [with images] to delight the viewers. 
And chroniclers have adorned this period with words. 

Now it was in this period that the presbyter Arius of Alexandria appeared, among seven 
priests whom Satan used as a weapon, attempting to repeat the worship of created 
beings. For [Satan] had him say that the son of God was a created being. [Arius] had six 
other like-minded [priests] as is demonstrated in the letter written to Eusebius of 
Nicomedia. [Their names are] Eusebius of Caesarea, T'e'odos of Laocidea, Julian, bishop 
of Tyre (Sur), Athanasius of Anazarb, Grigor of Taruth, and Athis of Lydia. When their 
wickedness was revealed, Bishop Peter anathematized them. And [Arius] began to take 
many adherents [including] Maris of Chalcedon, Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Melitos, 
bishop of the Egyptians — who during the period of persecutions, had made sacrifices [to 
pagan gods and was removed from his position — Aithales, and many others [gl30]. 

In this same period there occurred a severe earthquake in Egypt which damaged many 
buildings and their inhabitants, and presaged the [Arian] heresy. There was a similar rent 
in the Church over [the feast of] Zatik [the Christian Easter/Jewish Passover], since the 
Eastern areas [of the Byzantine empire] along with the Jews commemorated [Zatik] on 
the 14th day of the lunar [month], while the Western areas always celebrated it on 
Sunday. First Alexander held a meeting of a multitude of bishops in Alexandria and 
anathematized Arius and those who shared his views. He also wrote imprecations 
[condemning Arianism] and had them taken to all the churches in the country. However, 
the corrupting flames were not quenched until the matter came to Emperor Constantine's 
attention. The latter was deeply saddened and wrote letters to Bishop Alexander and to 
Arius so that they reconcile with each other and in order to remove the evil idea from 
Arius' mind. But this did not quell the conflict in the Church and the heresy began to 
spread. Then Constantine the Great promulgated an order throughout the country that an 
assembly be convened at Nicaea in Bithynia. Three hundred and eighteen bishops 
assembled. The principals were: 

[64] Osius (Usios) from Cordoba (Kur'tabia), 

Vitus and [gl31] Vincent, priests from Rome representing the Pope, 

Alexander of Alexandria, 

Aristake's of Greater and Lesser Armenia, 



Julius of Sebastia, 
Eustace of Antioch, and 
Jacob of Nisibis. 

The emperor had built a large and expansive palace where the assembly was seated. He 
himself, standing, personally served them. And they observed the grace of God on the 
emperor's face, and they placed a chair for him in their midst and begged him to be 
seated. [The emperor], however, ignored this and continued standing and serving their 
needs and listening to their discourse. There were, among the bishops, thousands and 
tens of thousands of priests and deacons. The emperor saw to all their needs at his own 
expense, from the 20th day of the month of Iar until the 18th day of the month of 
Haziran. 

Initially they began to discuss matters using the rhetorical style of philosophers, and many 
of them followed this practise. Then a certain young prince arose and said: "Christ and 
the Apostles did not address us using artful words, but rather with a firm faith preserved 
through virtuous deeds." And so they were silent and left matters to the churchmen, who 
established the profession of faith of the Apostles. There were many who were opposed 
to this. The emperor removed [the dissidents] from the ranks of the assembly and [gl32] 
the count [of participants] was incremented with true believers. There were some who 
presented to the emperor letters of opposition and jealousy regarding each other and 
[Constantine] reconciled them and burned the disputatious letters. The emperor implored 
them to commemorate together the feast of the Resurrection of Christ, and also [urged] 
that Sunday should be glorified with assembly and occupation with [religious] matters. 
And thus did they designate Sunday to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ our God 
following the old [Jewish festival of] Zatik. They also designated that Sunday should be 
revered by rest from activities, with readings from the canons of the Apostles and other 
theological writings, rather than with pleasurable activities, and that Saturday should be 
devoted to commemorating the martyrs. The emperor himself stipulated that those 
dishonoring the priests and bishops should be executed with an evil death. For the 
emperor had heard about this from Sylvester and from Gregory the Parthian [Gregory 
the Illuminator] , and thus did they canonize this by order of the Holy Spirit. With his 
own hand the emperor issued an edict ordering death by evil and bitter torture for those 
who dishonored the clerics. This meeting took place in the 20th year of Constantine, 
which was the 5833rd year from Adam. The emperor dismissed the assembly with honor 
and gifts. And they anathematized after Arius, Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, Theognis, 
bishop of Nicaea, Maris of Chalcedon, and Theonas of Marmarica (T'umas of 
Markak) — the principal men. 

[65] Now it happened that Empress Helena the emperor's mother had a vision while 
dreaming [gl33]. She arose and went to Jerusalem with Sylvester, the patriarch of 



Rome, and discovered the statue of Astghik which is Aphrodite, on the tomb [of Christ], 
as well as the blessed Cross of Christ which had been buried for a long time. After 
torturing Jews she found the Cross which [had been buried] by Judas. At this time the 
bishop of Jerusalem was named Macarius (Markos). After building churches, [the 
empress] entrusted them to Macarius. She established a class of virgins and clerics in 
Jerusalem and cared for them at her own expense. 

But Arius, by means of some other cheats, tricked the emperor into seeing him and 
hearing his doctrine from him. The emperor so ordered [granting an interview]. [Arius] 
wrote a lengthy document reflecting the faith of Nicaea, and a short one reflecting his 
own false doctrine, which he concealed in his sleeve. He presented the long bull to the 
emperor and said: "I profess nothing more than this." When he received the longer 
document [back] from the emperor, [Arius] put his hand on the [shorter] document 
containing his own blasphemies and said: "May there be severe curses on anyone who 
claims that I glorify God in any way differing from what is written here." And the 
emperor believed him to the point that God disgraced him with [creating a] division. The 
emperor was even more confirmed in the faith and with great care took pity on [gl34] 
the churches, allowing them freedom throughout the country and making their property 
and earnings free from taxation. And he said: "All churches should have the complete 
Old and New Testaments [available], and orphans and widows should be maintained at 
Church expense, and clerics should be knowledgeable in Biblical writings. [Moreover], 
the Church should maintain some astronomers skilled in the science of calendars, to keep 
the accurate observance of feasts and heavenly bodies, though the Church should not 
entertain the other nonsense of astrology." He also ordered that [portable] canvas 
churches be constructed to take along when he was traveling during battles, so that the 
mass and communion could be properly celebrated in his presence. 

Constantine had three sons. The senior son was named after his father, the middle son 
was named Constans, and the youngest, whom he made Caesar, was named Costas. The 
eldest son adhered to Orthodoxy until death, as did the youngest. [Emperor Constantine] 
had his eldest son reside in Constantinople, the middle son, in the Eastern parts, and the 
youngest in Rome. This period saw the beginnings of [Christian] faith among the Indians 
and the Iberians/Georgians. Constantine created a canvas church [a tent] to circulate 
around [gl35] with him. He built a large octogonal church in Antioch. And he built a 
bridge over the Danube River, by which he led the troops to the Scythians, who are the 
Russians. Some [of the Russians] he killed while others he converted to Christianity. 

[66] In this period Shapuh, king of the Persians, came to Nisibis and turned back in 
disgrace. Jacob of Edessa says that "Constantine wanted to go against the Persians and, 
going to Nicomedia, became ill, asked for baptism, and was baptized. For until then he 
had not been baptized, hoping to be baptized in the Jordan River. He made a will 



concerning his three sons and entrusted it to an Arian priest named Eusebius. 
Constantine, who had reached the age of 65 and reigned for 32 years, died peacefully on 
the great Sunday of Pentecost, which was the 22nd day of the month of Iyar. His body 
was taken to Constantinople and placed in the Church of the Holy Apostles. 

According to the will, the eldest son received the throne of Constantinople, the middle 
son, Antioch and the Eastern areas, and the youngest, Rome. On the day of 
[Constantine's] death, the middle son was close by in Nicomedia and took the will from 
that priest [Eusebius]. Constantine's senior son went to Rome, to the land of [gl36] his 
younger brother. Constantine the Great also had a brother named Dalmatius who had 
two sons, Gallienus and Julian. [Constantine's] youngest son, Costas, designated 
Dalmatius as Caesar in Rome. He was the brother of Constantine the Great. Dalmatius 
killed Constantine, the eldest son of [Emperor] Constantine, against the will of the 
younger brother. Then Costas killed Dalmatius in return for the slaying of his brother the 
king. Now Dalmatius had two sons, Gallienus (Gallus) and Julianus, and they wanted to 
kill them too but did not, for Gallienus was sick and Julianus was a boy, and so they 
thereby escaped. Later [Costas] was reconciled with them and put them into school in a 
village named Makali, close to Armenian Caesarea. When they had advanced in their 
studies, they became lovers of martyrs and began building a martyrium to Saint Mamas. 
The part built by Gallienus stood fast, while the part built by Julian crumbled — which 
presaged what was to come. 

The middle brother, Costas, established Gallienus as Caesar in Antioch. He rebelled 
against the emperor. When the emperor heard about this, he sent and had him killed, and 
put Julian in prison. However, through the intercession of Empress Eusebia with the 
emperor, [Julian] was removed from prison and sent to Athens to study philosophy 
[gl37]. Gregory the Theologian, Basil, and his brother Gregory Nazianus were there [in 
Athens] and they prophesied what was to happen regarding Julian. 

[67] In this period Constans, son of Constantine the Great, built a city in the Seleucia 
country and named it Constantinople. In the sixth year of Constans, Magnentius rebelled 
and seized Italy and Africa from Constans, and ruled in Sirmium. Through treachery the 
troops killed Costos and his brother's son, Constantine, who had ruled with him for three 
years. Now when Constans heard about this he became filled with rage and killed 
Magnentius and along with him Ophilus who ruled with Magnentius and was of the line 
of the emperors. On the day of their slaying there appeared the sign of the Cross in the 
eastern part [of the sky]. The emperor entered Rome in great splendor. Returning to 
Constantinople, he made Julian Caesar and gave him for a wife his sister Helene, who 
was called Costia [gl38]. 

In this period the Jews who were in Palestine rebelled and killed Roman troops. The 



emperor sent and destroyed them. Julian went to Gaul against the barbarians, triumphed, 
and, waxing proud, was hailed as emperor by the troops. When Emperor Constantius 
heard about this he was terrified and was baptized by the bishop of Antioch, Euzoius 
(Zoyius), who was an Arian. Then he arose against Julian and died [in the area] between 
Cilicia and Cappadocia, having lived for 48 years and having reigned for 25 years. 
Although he had been deceived by the Arian bishop Sebios and liked the Arians [gl39], 
still he did not claim that the Son of God was a created being but rather that He was born 
from the Father, though lesser. It was [Emperor Constantine] who legislated that 
unbaptized [troops] should not fight in wars, without this spiritual shield. At the hour of 
death he repented [Arianism] and accepted Orthodoxy and then died. But before he gave 
up the ghost, he repented and professed Orthodoxy, saying: "Although I never regarded 
the Son of God as a created being, they gave me to state that he was inferior to the 
Father. And so did I sin before Him. Now I profess that the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the 
Father are consubstantial. " 

Julian took over the empire after being Caesar for five years. He reigned for two years. I 
have also found it claimed that Julian was Constantine the Great's brother's son. For they 
say that Constantine the Great had two brothers from the same father, Lamtius and 
Kostius. Lamtius had a son bearing his own name; while Kostius had two sons, Gallus 
and Julian. Gallus rebelled and was killed. Julian became Caesar. After he had 
conquered the barbarians, he was passing along a street when a crown made of cloth fell 
and landed on his head. This became the cause for some to say that it was a sign of 
victory and for others to claim that it was a sign of [approaching] destruction. I have 
confirmed the first narrative rather than the second. However, since Julian was practised 
in sorcery and in serving demons, he [gl40] attributed his victory and the emperor's 
death to the demons. He was steeped in sorcery, wore the garb of philosophers, the dyed 
leather known as atim, ridiculing the [imperial] purple. He abandoned his wife, and 
donned the garb of philophers . It was he who began secretly to pollute waters with the 
blood of sacrifices and have this sprinkled on all foods so that eaters and drinkers would 
receive [and do] his will. When [Julian] entered Constantinople, he was declared 
Autocrator. 

[68] Julian was the son of Asklepius. When his brother Gallianus was slain for 
fomenting rebellion, Julian took refuge at the holy altar and was spared through the 
intercession of the patriarch Athanasius. Licinius had a daughter named Eluthra who 
had inherited her father's property after his killing. She remained a Christian virgin. 
Desirous of visiting Jerusalem for prayer, she entrusted her property to Julian as [he 
appeared to be] a selfless philosopher garbed in skins. [Her property consisted of] 13 
gold crowns decorated with precious stones, 155 kendinar s of gold women's 
ornaments, 97 kendinar s of precious gold, plus invaluable and innumerable garments. 



Julian schemed with his teacher, the pagan Melenus, not to return Eluthra's valuables, 
and he hid them in his home. Thus when the woman returned home, he deceived her 
and swore on the Gospel [that he did not have the property] . Thus Eluthra was 
returning home in sadness. Now on the way she chanced upon a sundial which 
contained the image of an idol. This demon spoke to her, saying: "Worship me and be 
good to me the way your father was, and I will return your property to you. " But 
Eluthra did not heed these words. 

Now it happened that Julian was traveling on that same road and the same demon 
addressed him, saying: "I will expose you before the entire country, since you took the 
belongings of Eluthra, which I had given to her father who was dear to me, and you 
swore a false oath. " Then Julian was terrified. He related this to Melenus who advised 
him: "Worship him, so he will not deliver upon his threats. " Then he took him and they 
sacrificed to the demons. It happened that Melenus had a daughter who was pregnant. 
They sacrificed her, removed the baby and made a burnt offering of it. Then Melenus 
took Julian into a deep cavern, the dwelling place of demons, where he was promised a 
lifetime of 100 years and rule over the entire world. Julian mutilated himself and 
accepted the demons. When he became Caesar and afterwards succeeded to the throne, 
his faith was further strengthened and he began engaging in witchcraft and sorcery, to 
sacrifice to the demons, and to mix the blood of the victims with the water and food, so 
that everyone who ate and drank shared their spirit. When he learned that there was a 
bronze statue of Christ that performed many healings in the home of a woman at 
Caesarea who was troubled with bloody flux, he ordered that it be demolished and that 
the image of an idol be erected there. However, the idol was burned by fire hurled down 
by the Lord. 

[69] Julian then went to Antioch. When he entered the city he was informed about what 
had happened and he became vexed. At that very moment he espied a Christian doctor 
of the Church. He said to the philosopher Libanius: "Ask the priest where the 
carpenter's son is. " The reply given back was: "He is plying his father's trade. He is 
making a coffin for your king who will die in Persia. " Though deeply wounded by this, 
neither of them made any response at the time. When [Julian] had entered the city he 
increased the stipends for the troops he was mustering to take to Persia, which made 
dahekans more dear. 

When [Julian] came to Antioch he caused dahekans to increase in value while making 
bread and wine more abundant. The rabble insulted him, asking: "Why do you let your 
beard grow so long? Cut it and make a rope out of it and put it on the horns of your 
sacrificial [animals] and, using it, lead them as offerings to your false gods." [Julian] was 
enraged and wanted to put the city to the sword. However, the philosopher Libanius 



calmed him down, saying: "Death is not the fitting response. Rather, give insults in place 
of their insults to you." And so [Julian] assembled them, insulted them, and let them go. 
Now on the mountain of Antioch there was a monastery named after Paul and the grave 
of [gl41] Bishop Babelas was also located there. Julian wanted to erect a statue of 
Apollo there and to cast lots about his going to Persia, but the demons made him no 
reply. [Julian] realized that it was because of [the presence of] Babelas, and he ordered 
that [Babelas'] body be removed to the city. The Christians joyously took it [singing] 
psalms and [carrying] lanterns. Then the demons began to speak to him nicely. [Julian], 
delighted, had two tables placed before the altar, one piled with incense, the other, with 
gold. He put fire before them and declared: "Let whoever casts a handful of incense on 
the fire take a handful of gold." Many simple-minded folk were thus fooled and took the 
gold. Afterwards they sat down to eat and drink. Then, in accordance with custom, they 
made the sign of the cross over the wine. Then someone said: "What is this? You make 
the sign of the cross after apostasizing?" Terrified, they asked: "When did we 
apostasize?" And the man replied: "When you took gold after the incense." They put 
down the wine, ran outside and threw the gold in the emperor's face [gl42] saying that 
they were Christians. [Julian] let them be tormented [rather than killed], so that they not 
acquire the names of martyrs. 

[Julian] changed the names of cities: he renamed Caesarea to Mazaka (Bazke'), and 
Constantinople to Biwzandia. He deceitfully built hostels, poor houses, and places where 
orphans and widows could be cared for. He commanded that pagan legends be read and 
that the children of Christians not be excluded from secular learning. He left Antioch 
with threats about what would happen when he returned peacefully from Persia. He sent 
to Edessa to prepare for [receiving] him, but they refused. He then went to Harran, 
sacrificed to the demons, and honored the Jews there, commanding that they go to 
Jerusalem, [re]build the Temple, and make sacrifices according to [their] faith. [The 
Jews] took 3,000 measures of lime, gathered up those who had been dispersed, went and 
began to rebuild. A fierce wind scattered the lime and cement they wanted to build with, 
and fire descended and burned the structure and their tools. The Jews in Edessa arose 
against the Christians, and were killed by them [gl43]. 

[70] Julian delayed in Harran and again sacrificed to the demons in front of idols he had 
erected in Harran. And while sacrificing, the crown fell from his head and the horse 
nearby trampeled him and tore his clothes. [Julian's] friends said to him: "This is because 
of the Christians whom you are taking with you." [Julian therefore] turned back 22,000 
of the [Christian] troops. However, he did not retire the standard of the Cross, which by 
custom they kept at the front, saying: "Who knows, if the Persians defeat us, it will be a 
defeat for the Cross." He took along with him 395,000 fighters, not including attendants 
and laborers. Wherever he went he erected idols and made sacrifices and queries, and the 
demons said: "We, a multitude of gods, are coming along with you in a brigade and will 



bestow on you the fate and good fortune of Alexander, and the star Ares is at the head of 
your troops." [Julian] arrived at Ctesiphon, and ruined it. [King] Shapuh fled and sent to 
him, saying that he would give him a great amount of treasure if he would turn back. 
[Shapuh] then assembled the Persians and came and encamped by the Tigris River. 

Messengers went back and forth between them, but they were unable to make peace. 
Then suddenly [gl44] an arrow came and pierced Julian's entrails, making his blood gush 
forth. Taking some of the blood in the palm of his hand, he hurled it skyward, saying: 
"Oh, Galilean, you have triumphed. Take and add my kingdom to your divinity." But 
[Julian] would not don either armor or helmet, priding himself on the promise of the 
gods [for protection]. Perhaps the arrow which hit him was shot not by a man but from 
the power of God. Thus was fulfilled the prophesy made about him in Antioch. There 
Julian had pulled down an image of Christ in the home of a woman suffering from 
bloody flux where many healings took place, and erected idols in its place. Fire 
descended and burned the idols. They came and told him about this before he had 
entered Antioch. At this time he noticed a Christian vardapet and said to the philosopher 
Libanius: "Ask him, where is your son of a carpenter?" And [the priest] replied: "His 
work is present here [gl45] where he makes a coffin for the death of your king." And 
they were silent. This indeed came to pass, for they made a coffin through the will and 
power of the carpenter's son, and they put [Julian's body] in it. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



[71] They chose a military commander [named Jovian] and said: "Rule over us as 
emperor in place of Julian." And [Jovian] replied: "I will not rule over devil 
worshippers." They responded in unison: "All of us are Christians." Then [Jovian] had 
the crown placed on the Cross and said: "Come and worship." And everyone 
worshipped. Then [Jovian] took [the crown] and put it on his head. Now because of 
hunger and high prices, they made peace with the Persians. [The Byzantines] gave up 
Nisibis, depopulated, since they removed the multitude of Christians dwelling there. 
Then [the Byzantine army] turned back, bearing with it to Cilicia the corpse of the 
impious [Julian]; and they kept it, disrespectfully, in the confines of Tarsus. Julian left 
behind forty discourses. 

Now Jovian was a good and pious man and delighted the Christians. And there was a 
great healing of hurts. However, we were not worthy to enjoy this, for he did not live 
long. Between Galatia and Bithynia he experienced a pain in his intestines and died, after 
reigning for only seven months [gl46]. He did not even reach Constantinople. When the 
troops reached Nicaea, they enthroned Valentinian [Valens, 364-378], a wise man who 
was from the city of Cibali (Kappalis) in Pannonia. They wanted to select his co-ruler 
also, but [Valens] said: "That is at my discretion, not yours. You selected me and I shall 
select my own colleague." They accepted this and [Valens] chose his own brother, 
Vaghes, who had been baptized by the Arian bishop, Eudoxus, and held his doctrine. 
[Valens] designated him as ruler in the East, and he greatly supported the Arians. 

Valens took Rome and adhered to the faith of Nicaea. He declared as Augustus his son 
Gratianus. Then he went to Marcianopolis in Egypt. When he arrived there an 
earthquake occurred, the likes of which had never happened, and had never been heard 
of. For when the sea shook, it hurled ships over the city wall and then retreated to a 
lower level than before. A multitude of folk gathered to loot the ships. But then the sea 
returned and drowned all of them and then spread out over the land, engulfing many 
cities and districts. This was a sign of the corruption of Vaghes. Valentinian reproached 
[gl47] his brother for his evil ways. When he would not heed him, he got angry and did 
not aid him in his war with the Goths, saying: "I will not help a man who wars against 
God." 



[72] Then Valentinian himself went to fight in Sarmatia. The Sarmatians were terrified 
and, through emissaries, requested peace from him. Valentinian was astounded by their 
coarseness and ignorance. He asked them and learned that [those emissaries] who had 
come to him were the most select [of the Sarmatians]. He grew angry and said: "Woe to 
the Romans who have left kingship and reign over animals to me." Then with a great 
shout [Valentinian] encouraged the troops not to make peace with them, but instead to 
exterminate them. From the strength of his shout, veins in his throat burst and he died at 
the age of 84, after ruling for 1 1 years. [Valentinian] had two wives, contrary to law: the 
first was Severa and the second, Justina, daughter of Justin. Now Justin [previously] had 
seen a vision in which some purple material was coming forth from him and became a 
prince, and he told [people] about this. When Valentinian heard about this, he killed him 
so that, he said, no king would descend from him. Later he took [gl48] [Justin's] 
daughter as a wife. She bore him a son who was named Valentinian after him and three 
daughters: [one of whom was] Gallia, who became the wife of Theodosius the Great and 
bore him Arcadius and Honorius. Upon Valentinian's death, the eldest son, who was 
born from the first wife, was not nearby. And so others among the troops put the crown 
on the head of Valentinian's youngest son, who was a four-year-old boy. 

Vaghes made Gratianus military chief and sent him to war against the Goths, where he 
was defeated. Vaghes insulted him and Gratianus retorted: "The defeat is not mine but 
yours, for you fight against Christ." 

In this period Mawie', queen of the Tachiks (Arabs), caused much harm to the Romans. 
She promised peace if they would ordain as bishop of their district the hermit Movse's. 
When Vaghes heard [gl49] this he sent to the desert seeking out the cleric named 
Movse's. Finding someone they brought him [to Vaghes], however [Movse's] did not 
want to be ordained by the Arians. Instead he wanted ordination from exiled Orthodox 
[clerics]. The emperor so ordered. Receiving the episcopate from the persecuted 
Orthodox, [Movse's] departed. When he went back, many Tachiks became Christians. 
For Queen Mawie' was Roman by nationality. She had been captured by the Tachiks. 
Because of her beauty, she became wife to the Tachik king, and when he died she ruled 
over the kingdom. Due to her, many converted to Christianity. 

In this period Vaghes constructed the dimison in Antioch, a prison for the Orthodox. 
Then suddenly there appeared an army moving through the sky, physically visible. In this 
period a child was born [gl50] in Antioch having one eye, four feet, four hands, and a 
beard. 

[73] In these times the Goths arose and enslaved many districts: Scythia, Thrace, Mysia, 
Macedonia, Achaea, and all Hellas. Vaghes fled to Constantinople and the rabble insulted 
him, saying: "Give us weapons and we will go and fight." Vaghes went, infuriated, 



threatening them that should he return in peace he would demolish the city. He went but 
was defeated by them. And he fled to a village. The fighting barbarians surrounded the 
village while [Vaghes] hid in a silo full of hay. Searching for him unsuccessfully, they 
burned down the village and he perished in the hay, in an anticipation of the eternal fire. 
[Vaghes] lived 50 years and reigned for 17 years. 

Then Gratianus ruled who, in the days of his father Valentinian, had been Autokrator in 
Rome. He reestablished Orthodoxy and took as his co-ruler Theodosius the 
Spaniard — the man who had been the first to declare [gl51] Gratianus emperor. 
[Gratianus] swapped with him, giving [Theodosius] Constantinople and all the eastern 
areas. In this period, at their order, Ras al-Ayn was constructed. Now when the 
barbarians learned about the demise of Vaghes, they came as far as the walls of 
Constantinople. Theodosius arose and destroyed them, then went on to their land and 
made them tributary. And there was peace in the Church and the land after 40 years of 
Arian evil. 

In this period Artashir [III, 379-383], king of the Persians, died and his son Shapuh [III, 
383-388] took the rule. In the third year of Theodosius, Gratianus was killed by the 
dictator Maximius in Rome. Then Valentinian the Lesser ruled in Rome. Theodosius and 
Valentinian warred with Maximium the dictator, killed him, and entered Rome in 
splendid glory [gl52]. Then Theodosius came to Constantinople. He sent an official, the 
Strategos, to the East. When he arrived at Antioch, he observed conflict in the Church. 
He made peace and established Melitus on the [patriarchal] throne. Now in the fourth 
year of Theodosius he wanted to cleanse the Church of Arians. He convened a large 
assembly of 150 bishops. The principals among them were: Melitus of Antioch, Timothy 
of Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem, the blessed Nerse's of Greater Armenia who had 
returned from exile, Gregory the Theologian from Constantinople, and Gregory of 
Nyssa. And they anathematized first the heresy of Arian, then the heresy of Macedonius 
who dared to claim that the Holy Spirit was a creation. They [re] established the faith of 
Nicaea and added to the Creed mention of the Holy Spirit, for this question arose 
subsequently. 

[74] After ten years [heading] the episcopate [gl53], [Gregory] the Theologian quit 
Constantinople and Nectarius took over that see. When Theodosius saw Melitus, he said: 
"I saw him in a dream, blessing me as emperor." [Melitus] died at that council. Gregory 
of Nyssa delivered a funeral homily about him, and his body was brought to Antioch. 
Melitus stopped unqualified priests from administering communion, and stipulated that 
only the most perfected people, acknowledged by all, should be selected [as clerics]. For 
a certain priest at Antioch had ordained as deacon a person who was committing adultery 
with a wealthy woman and, [as a result], there was much killing. Melitus commented that 
"It is better to ordain a thornbush than an ignorant and unprepared person." 



At this time Theodosius was in Thessalonica and became ill. He encountered and was 
baptized by Ascolius (Aquila) and was healed. Then [Theodosius] came to 
Constantinople and built a large church to Anastasius [Resurrection]. In this time he 
fathered a son from his wife Flacilla (Gallios) and he was named Honorius. After giving 
birth, Flacilla died. There was a statue of her in Antioch [gl54], but when they learned 
of her death they dragged it and dumped it in the marketplace. Emperor Theodosius was 
enraged by this. He removed from Antioch the honor of being called a capital and gave 
this instead to Laodicia, making it an evangelical see. Judges wrought many killings over 
that affair. Now when a hermit named Apollo heard about it, he came and reprimanded 
the princes and wrote a letter to Theodosius, saying: "It is unnecessary to get so angry 
over one image. People, who are the image of God, are being polluted. You can make 
many broze statues, but you cannot fashion an image of God. Do you not know this? 
How many more of our souls dishonored by sins [will be required] with no one caring 
that it is the image of God which is being insulted?" And [gl55] when the emperor heard 
this, his rage quieted and he reconciled with the city. 

In this period Thessalonica, the main city of Italy [Illyria], rebelled from the emperor, 
slaying by lapidation the emperor's prince, who was in the city. Enraged, the emperor 
commanded that the city be destroyed. Seven thousand people died, the innocent along 
with the guilty. Then Bishop Ambrosius came to the city of Milan and encountered the 
emperor at the door of the church, as he was trying to enter. [The bishop] stopped him 
and asked: "Are you not ashamed, you who are covered with blood, to enter the house of 
God? Turn back, and receive this ban which God has sent to you by my hands." And the 
emperor turned back with tears in his eyes. Eight months later, when the feast of the 
Nativity came, the emperor sat in his chamber and wept bitterly. The magistrate Rufinus 
made bold to approach him and asked: "What is wrong, O King, why do you weep?" He 
replied: "How could I not cry, for servants and beggars may enter the church while I am 
banned both from the church and from Heaven. They may enjoy the heavenly blessing 
of this feast while I am deprived of it." [Rufinus] [gl56] said: "I will hasten and beseech 
the bishop." [The emperor] responded: "I do not believe that he will listen to you or see 
me, [a man] who has scorned the laws of God." 

[75] Nonetheless Rufinus went, while the emperor piously followed behind him. Now 
when the bishop saw Rufinus, he cried out: "Foul one, advisor of impiety and 
encourager of evil, all this happened because of your advice." [Rufinus] fell at his feet, 
pleading and saying: "Lo, the emperor is coming behind me in all humility and relying 
on the intervention of the holy feast." [The bishop] said: "I will not allow him in church 
and, should he desire it, I will accept murder from him as he has murdered others." 
[Rufinus] then went before the emperor and related what the blessed man had said, [and 
the emperor responded]: "Let me go and I will gladly bear the insults I deserve." He went 
and stood outside in tears, pleading. The bishop called to him, saying: "Brazen heathen, 



why have you come here?" The emperor replied: "Holy Father, I will gladly accept your 
insults and anathemas and will do nothing without your approval. Only do not close [the 
door] in my face, so that I can see inside the Church of God from outside, and hear your 
voice." The bishop remained in the church and said: "What penance [gl57] have you 
undertaken that you should see the door of the church and me?" And the emperor 
replied: "Only show me the medicine for my wounds and I will do as you say." The 
bishop said: "You are severe against wrongdoers. Write a law that wrongdoers must be 
held for three days [before punishment], and should there still be doubts, let it be for 40 
days and have inquiries made with witnesses and examination so that the matter be clear 
and can be discerned when [your] anger subsides, and then punish accordingly. "You are 
cruel and hateful towards the guilty, and too easily believe the slanderous insinuations 
of informers and intriguers. [I want you to] write in your own hand a law requiring 
that three days pass before acting on the betrayals you hear about, and that 40 days 
pass before executing those condemned, during which time inquiries must be made as 
to the facts, during which time your heart will become tranquil and your anger will 
lessen. And furthermore, see that all the judges and princes under your sway comport 
with this. " This [edict] was written at once, and [the emperor] sent to all the judges and 
princes in the land for them to act accordingly. Then [the bishop] commanded the 
emperor to enter the church. He entered and threw himself on the ground, saying: "I 
grovel on the ground. Lord sustain me with mercy." Then, in tears, the king stood up and 
went near the altar and wanted to go to his own seat, but the bishop stopped him, saying: 
"Until you complete your penance it is fitting that you remain behind and beneath 
everyone else." [The emperor] accepted this in all humility and went to stand with the 
other penitents. Such was the emperor's piety and faith [gl58]. 

In this period, through the bishop's efforts, they discovered the relics of the prophet 
Habakkuk and Michah in Eleutheropolis (Alut'rabulos) in Palestine. In Jerusalem they 
found relics of St. Stephen and those with him, due to Bishop Yovhanne's of Jerusalem, 
a very virtuous man who preached Orthodox sermons. 

[76] In the 13th year of Theodosius, [the emperor] had his son Arcadius proclaimed in in 
the East and at the same time the princes Eugene and Arbogast treacherously killed 
Valentinian in Rome. Theodosius enthroned Honorius in Rome. [Theodosius] arose with 
a small number [of troops] against the rebels, who were many. [The latter] said to the 
emperor: "Let us wait until [reinforcement] troops arrive." And [Theodosius] entered a 
cave alone and cried out to the Lord. The Evangelist John and Philip, one of Christ's 
Apostles, and the Apostle Peter appeared and said to him: "Fear not and do not await 
assistance, for we have come from Christ to help you." And that is what happened, for at 
dawn the two tyrants were destroyed [gl59]. However, when the emperor left off his 
labors and came to Milan, he was seized by a pain in the intestines and died. He had 
lived 60 years, reigning as emperor for 16 years and eight months. 



In this period in Persia there reigned Vahram Kermanshah, son of Shapuh and brother of 
Artashir, for 1 1 years. 

Now Theodosius during his lifetime had been urged by bishop Jamblichos to persecute 
Arians, but he had not listened. One day the emperor was seated with his son, Arcadius, 
when Jamblichos entered. He greeted Theodosius, but did not even look at the son. It 
appeared to the emperor that he had not seen the son, and so he said: "Father, bless my 
son." Jamblichos replied: "You, emperor, are enough for us. I will not honor him except 
as one of your servants." The emperor was saddened and then flew into a rage. The 
bishop continued: "You, a mortal, cannot endure an insult to your son. Do you suppose 
that immortal God will allow you to insult His Son?" The emperor accepted this and 
ordered that Arians be persecuted and boldly removed Dumbfounded, the emperor 
ordered that the Arians be persecuted boldly, and he ordered that his sons and princes 
do likewise. And then he reposed in Christ. [gl60]. 

Following the death of the emperor, a child was born in Emaus, Palestine who had two 
heads above the chest and four arms. [The child] lived for two years. When one [head] 
ate, the other did not. When one slept, the other stayed awake. And they played with 
each other, sometimes crying, sometimes laughing. One died two days before the other. 

Emperor Arcadius [395-408] was sensible and restrained. Underneath his [royal] purple 
[clothing] he secretly wore a hair shirt, and he liked clerics. In this period John 
[Chrysostom] went to Constantinople in great glory, a powerful figure when it came to 
speech, miracles, and doctrine. [Arcadius] had John [Chrysostom] ofAntioch in Syria 
brought to him, for he was desirous of seeing [John] because of his reputation. When 
[Arcadius] saw him, he found his eloquence, miracles, and holiness to be ten times 
more than supposed. [Arcadius] made him bishop of Constantinople. But there were 
some who scorned [John] because he did not speak polished Greek. He was of Asori 
lineage and had been schooled in that [language, Syriac]. He died in exile in Armenian 
Comana, having lived 50 years. For seven years he was bishop [in Constantinople] and 
for three years he was in exile. After baptism he did not swear or make oaths, lie [gl61] 
or curse anyone. He did not drink wine or laugh, or eat with folk. Nor, when exalted, did 
he seek [more] honors. When he went into exile, he struck the church with his hand and 
said: "Stay well, blessed Church, dwelling place of the Lord's glory. With the blessings I 
received from God I have put 12,000 homilies into the treasury [of the Church], which 
are 800 books." 

[77] After this, Arcadius grew ill and had his eight-year-old son Theodosius declared 
emperor. Now since Honorius was sonless, [Arcadius' son, Theodosius II] was the sole 
heir. Arcadius feared for his son. For this reason he made a will entrusting his son to the 
king of Persia, Yazdgird. When Yazdgird learned about this, he was overjoyed and sent 



as a tutor for the boy a wise man named Antiochus. He also sent warnings to all the 
Imperial Houses of the Romans for them to regard the boy with fear and awe. Then 
Arcadius died, having reigned for 13 years. There was then peace between the Persians 
and Romans; and the Christians in Persia grew in numbers and were viewed without 
suspicion, through the efforts of Bishop Marutha. 

Then Honorius died sonless in Rome and Constantine [Constans III] ruled [gl62]. The 
latter was slain by some autocrat. There remained only Theodosius after Honorius, who 
had reigned for 13 years. In that period Theodosius designated as Caesar his father's 
sister's son, Valentinian, and sent him to Rome with his mother. After this, [Theodosius] 
sent [Valentinian] a crown. [Valentinian] reigned for 32 years. Theodosius was a blessed 
man whose table held vegetables, but no oil or wine during fasts. After the death of the 
bishop of Hebron, he took the deceased bishop's/zMy hair shirt and wore it every night. 
He was merciful and lacking in hatred, to the point that when asked "Why do you spare 
those condemned to death?" he replied: "Would that I could turn to life those who are 
dead, let alone kill the living. That is God's work, to kill and to let live. It is for God to 
grant life or death. I am begging the Lord to return to us from the dead; why, then, 
should I add to the dead?" 

In this period Yazdgird, king of Persia, died and his son, Bahram [V, 420-438], reigned 
for 22 years. He rescinded his father's treaty and made war against Theodosius. The 
friendship between [the Byzantine and Persian] kings ended, and the Persians were hit 
many times through the emperor' prayers. [Theodosius] , through his prayers, defeated 
the Persians, killed, and took captives. 

In this period virtue was displayed [gl63] by Acacius, bishop of Amida who ransomed 
those captured by the Persians, even giving the Church vessels, made of gold and silver, 
to purchase the slaves. He said: "Our God has no need of gold and silver vessels." His 
faith was praised among the Persians. The Persian king wanted to see him and greatly 
exalted him, to the glory of Christ. In this period the noteworthy [clerics] were Simeon 
the Stylite in Antioch and Mor Barsum on the borders of Lesser Armenia. 

[78] In this period Nestorius was patriarch in Constantinople. In this period Bishop 
Nestorius moved from Antioch to Constantinople. He had a priest named Anastasius 
who one day ennunciated a new heresy from the pulpit — that Mary was the mother of a 
man, not of God. The people were indignant and expected Nestorius to censure him. 
But [Nestorius] not only did not blame [Anastasius], but he even took the heresy from 
him and spread it. However the foolish Nestorius, aided by the demons, was pleased 
with what had been said and promulgated it throughout the land. For this reason a great 
council was convened at Ephesus — the First Council of Ephesus — in the 41st year of 
Theodosius, which is 742 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 431], and 423 years from the time of 



Christ. Two hundred bishops were present there. Seven of them were anathematized 
[gl64], leaving 193 Orthodox bishops. The great Sahak of Armenia, being occupied, 
wrote a letter agreeing to whatever they stipulated. A multitude of priests and clerics were 
assembled there, principal among them: Bishops Arcadius and Proctius of Rome, 
representing Celestine, Pope of Rome; Cyril of Alexandria; Memnon of Ephesus; John 
of Antioch; Acacius of Melitene; Juvenal of Jerusalem; and others who anathematized 
Nestorius. But John of Antioch and 26 bishops with him did not sign the anathema of 
Nestorius, and then they themselves were anathematized along with him. 

Nestorius went into exile. Then [John of Antioch] was with Cyril and confessed his 
ignorance, not knowing of Nestorius' wickedness. By order of the emperor, [Nestorius] 
was exiled to Persian Khuzistan. John and his supporters repented and remained with 
Cyril, confessing their ignorance of Nestorius' heresy. Having consulted together, they 
recognized true Orthodoxy. Thus they confirmed [the Council] and said: "After this, 
should any council, bishop, or king create a new faith or definition [of the faith], let them 
be anathematized. Rather, let [the decisions of the Council of Nicaea] be kept firmly by 
the blessed Church until the end [gl65] of the world." 

Here are [the names of] those who were exiled with Nestorius: Theodoret from the city 
of Cyrrhus; Andrew of Samosata; Alexander of Manbij [Mabbug, Hierapolis, Bambyce]; 
Arianus of Tyre (Sur); John of Cilicia; Ut'rios of Taron and others with them. They 
installed Maximus of Constantinople in Nestorius' position. 

[79] In the 29th year of his reign, Theodosius heard some clamor about Flavian, bishop 
of Constantinople and the archmandrite Eutyches, and ordered that a second council be 
convened in Ephesus, 1 8 years after the first council, which was under Cyril. [The 
emperor] wrote a letter to Dioscorus with this import: 

"[We] the triumphant kings the autocrat Emperor Theodosius and Valentinian 
to you, holy father Dioscorus, archbishop of the Apostolic see of Alexandria: 

Be it known to your holiness that Nestorius' bitter root apparently has spread 
its tendrils into Flavian, and that the beliefs of Mani have influenced [gl66] the 
monk Eutyches. This we have heard. This task is fitting for you — to cleanse 
the Church, the pure bride of Christ. Therefore make haste to relieve the 
sorrow of [your Mother] on her heavenly couch. Bring with you ten 
metropolitans and ten other educated bishops capable of lighting the torch of 
Orthodox faith and placing it on a chandelier to the joy of those in heaven and 
on earth. Bring along too an additional ten bishops from Palestine. Bring 
Juvenal, bishop of Jerusalem since he was opposed to Nestorius and the 
heretical Leo. Do not bring with you those who sickened in the faith along with 



Cyril, [namely] Theodoret, bishop of the city of Cyrrhus and others of his ilk. 
Julian the Roman is here with us, filling the place [once occupied by Leo] in 
Rome, for [Leo] manifested symptons of the disease with his Tome. Also bring 
the great hermit and father of the desert, Mor Barsuma, representing all the 
Eastern monastics, since he greatly labored against Nestorius and the Tome of 
Leo." 

The blessed Dioscorus took the emperor's letter and did as he was ordered. He came to 
the council at Ephesus with [gl67] 128 bishops. The principals were: Dioscorus of 
Alexandria, Juvenal of Jerusalem, Domanus of Antioch, Eustacius of Beirut, Theodolus 
of Armenian Caesarea, Eusebius of Caesarea [Palestina], Vasilius of Seleucia, and Mor 
Barsama, head of the monks. They held many investigations. Eutyches showed 
repentenace in form, but not in substance — for which he was not accepted and was 
anathematized, as he claimed that the incarnation of Our Lord had happened in a 
fantastic manner. Now Flavian had written a confession of his faith which they brought 
forth and read. It contained Nestorius' beliefs. In it were found the signatures of Vailius, 
bishop of Seleucia; Julianus, [bishop] of the Romans; Eudocus of the Cyprians; and 
Seleucus of the Emesians. When the entire assembly heard this, they cursed [it] saying: 
"Get rid of it, destroy it, burn that godless document." With anathemas, they removed 
Flavian from his [episcopal] throne and with him Eusebius, Domnus of Antioch and five 
bishops who were his colleagues, and Irenaeus of Tyre (Sur), Akamius of Pepul, 
Theodoritus of Cyrrhus (Gouris). Ibas of Edessa, Severus of Thrumo, and Daniel from 
Harran. Moreover, the Tome of Leo — which had been scorned by the first [gl68] 
council — they did not deem fitting to read. 

[80] Then a letter arrived from the emperors Theodosius and Valentinian [telling them] 
neither to add to, nor subtract from, the Orthodox faith of Nicaea, Constantinople, and 
Ephesus, but rather to confirm the same [doctrines]. For this reason they confessed one 
Lord, one Christ, one Son, one Person, and one Nature after an ineffable union, both 
fully God and man, united in spirit, body, and mind, actually and not in theory. 

After the council was dissolved, when envoys went and told Leo what had transpired, 
Leo was moved to anger. He sent and summonded Flavian, heard his confession, and 
was satisfied. Then Flavian further aroused Leo against Dioscorus, saying: "He insulted 
your Tome and said that you are Nestorian." [Leo] was anguished and sought a means of 
deposing Dioscorus in return for his insults. 

In this time Empress Theodora and her sister Pulcheria went to Rome on pilgrimage. 
Appropriately, they were honored by Emperor Valentinian who was the cousin (father's 
sister's son) of Theodosius the Younger and the entire population of Rome [gl69]. 
Valentinian took them and went to the cathedral of the Apostles Peter and Paul where 



their relics were located. They were taken to the cathedral of the blessed Apostles where 
the clergy came to greet them, but Leo did not. Rather, he had thrown himself to the 
ground behind a curtain and began to cry. When Leo heard about this he threw himself 
on his face on the ground, behind a curtain, and did not get up and go to greet them. 
Then they lifted the curtain and saw [Leo] heaving and sobbing and they tenderly and 
with respect asked the reason. They took and seated him and he said: "Dioscorus has 
rent the Orthodox faith and the throne of the blessed Apostles is insulted by him." They 
comforted him and said: "Let it be as you wish, whatever you command." [Leo] got 
them to be intercessors with Emperor Theodosius to order convened [another] 
ecclesiastical council to overturn Dioscorus. They swore that they would do this. Now 
when the emperor's wife and her sister Pulcheria returned, [Leo] sent with them a letter 
begging that a council be convened with greater attendance than Dioscorus' so that his 
Tome be examined correctly and that he not be associated with the evil Nestorius. But 
when the emperor heard this, he rejected the request, saying: "I believe and accept the 
determination of Cyril and Dioscorus who judged [gl70] the Tome of Leo to be parallel 
to [the doctrines of] the accursed Nestorius." 

Emperor Theodosius, having lived in Orthodoxy, died at age 50, having reigned for 42 
years, since he began to reign at eight years of age. 

[81] Then Theodosius' sister's son, Marcian, reigned [A.D. 450-457], selected by 
Pulcheria. He was an ignorant, uneducated old man who reigned for six years and five 
months. It is said that he had engaged in adultery with Pulcheria earlier when she was a 
nun. Now in the first year of his rule, a letter of entreaty came from Leo, with the same 
content as the one he had sent before about [convening another] council. It was sent to 
Marcian and also to Pulcheria, reminding her of her earlier promise. [Leo] also sent his 
Tome to them so that they would forcibly and authoritatively have it circulated around to 
the bishops in the Asiatic land to all the bishops in [the province of] Asia for them to 
sign prior to the assembly. They agreed for two reasons: first because of Pulcheria's 
promise and vow, and second because it was the law that an emperor should not be 
seated in Constantinople without the [consent of the] emperor of Rome and the 
patriarch. This had already occurred without them and they were afraid of turbulence. 
Thus they wrote a letter full of entreaties and threats [gl71] from the emperor and 
Pulcheria and by princes and the bishops sent by Leo, they sent the letter throughout the 
land. They got the signed agreement of 446 bishops. 

Now when [the emissaries] returned and took Leo's Tome to the emperor and Pulcheria 
on which were 446 bishops' signatures, they were overjoyed and signed it themselves. 
Thus they ordered convened an assembly embracing all the countries under their sway 
except for Armenia which was not under their rule. Next, they sent invitations 
everywhere except to Armenia which was not under their control and whose patriarch 



had recently died. They had not yet put anyone on his [patriarchal] throne, and so did 
not send [a representative] . All this happened through God's providence so that a 
recollection of the past be preserved among them. In the second year of Marcian's reign, 
700 bishops assembled. Then principals were: Tromopicus, Lilopas, Likinisus, and 
Ascolion of Rome, representing Leo; Juvenal of Jerusalem; Dioscorus of Alexandria; 
Domus of Antioch; Basil of Seleucia; Peter the Iberian, the bishop of Gaza and chief 
[bishop] of Palestine. They placed at the head of the assembly Theodoritus whom Cyril 
had anathematized at Ephesus. And Dioscorus remarked: "What impiety is this? Saint 
Paul said 'If I rebuild something which has been demolished, I, too, am guilty.' How 
could such a man, tainted by anathemna [gl72], be the head and builder of a dead 
thing?" Juvenal at first supported him and moved everyone to be with Dioscorus. They 
said: "Cyril anathematized anyone adding new things [to Orthodox doctrine] and we 
concur. We anathematize anyone introducing new definitions. Let them also be cursed by 
Cyril." Following this, the emperor served in person and went about flattering, 
beseeching, and bribing. He gave to Juvenal three districts in the land of the Palestinians 
and, with pleading, brought him into agreement along with the 440 bishops who had 
previously signed [the circulating document]. 

[82] Those who kept to Orthodoxy with Dioscorus were 254 [clerics] who endured 
anathemas, bannings, harassment, and death, but did not depart from the love of Christ. 
[The majority of attendees] accepted the Tome of Leo with two distinct natures [for 
Christ] and, deceitfully, the virginity of the Mother of God. Yet as those wicked men 
separated the nature of man from her, how could she be the Mother of God? The entire 
world became filled with agitation and blood. The council lasted for two and a half years. 
Those who [previously] had been exiled and anathematized by Cyril and Dioscorus 
returned to honor and rule, fortified by troops and imperial edicts. Juvenal, among them, 
went to Jerusalem [gl73]. 

Then there was great disturbance in Jerusalem as they did not accept [Juvenal]. They 
ordained their own patriarch, Theodorus. But Juvenal wrote to Marcian who sent a 
military commander with troops, and they removed Theodorus and established Juvenal. 
And he again circulated through the land of Palestine and the Philistines and turned 
[Christians] to heresy, while the Orthodox were beaten, persecuted, and had their 
belongings seized. Many of the Jews circulated around destroying the Orthodox. Now 
there was a man named Peter who then was the venerable bishop of Gaza. It is said that 
he was son of the king of the Iberians/Georgians who previously had been sent to 
Constantinople as a hostage. There he willingly practised severe asceticism, became 
renowned for his virtue, and was forcibly made a bishop. [Peter] upbraided Marcian, 
cursed the Council [of Chalcedon] and departed in sadness. No one dared to reproach 
him, because of his supreme virtue. This Peter wrote to the Armenians, congratulating 
them on not attending the council and adding [gl74]: "At Chalcedon they apostasized 



Christ. Remain firm in your patrimonial faith which the Lord bestowed on you and your 
land. For just as once the seed of humanity spread from there throughout the world, so 
has the seed of Orthodox faith been preserved among you. And it will spread from you 
to many others. My sons, stand firm on the ineffable rock of Christ." 

We, who believe in Almighty God the Father, the Only Begotten Son, our Lord and 
Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit of the true God, glorify the Holy Trinity and the 
One God, now and forever, for all eternity. Amen [gl75]. 

We omit the translation of 72 numbered paragraphs denouncing Chalcedon, which 
follow on pp. 176-206. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



[83] In the sixth year of Marcian, which was 769 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 458], 
Valentinian, the emperor of the Romans was killed. And then the kingdom of the 
Romans split away from Constantinople. Just as Marcian had taken the throne without 
the consent of Rome, so now did they do the same. And so also was peace disturbed for 
the Church after the Council of Chalcedon. Marcian died, cursed by the blessed men of 
the age, after ruling for six years. That same year one of Marcian's princes, Leo of 
Thrace, ruled in Rome. In the same year Peroz [459-484] ruled in Persia, initiating 
persecution against Christians and war against the Romans. [Emperor] Leo gave his 
daughter [in marriage] to prince Zeno, and designated him as ruler of the eastern parts 
[of the empire]. He made Basiliscus the stratelat [g207 — 1871 text] in Thrace, and 
Murinus, Caesar in Rome. Soon afterwards he was slain by Ricimer, and Anthemius and 
Lucarus [? Glycerius] were proclaimed Caesars. 

In this period Callinicus — which was known as Ragha — was built up by order of 
Emperor Leo [Leo I, 457-474], who gave it his name, Leontopolis. At this time there 
was a fire in Constantinople the likes of which had never been seen. It burned the place 
from sea to sea [g208]. The emperor left the city and was not able to reenter it for six 
months. Leo published an edict to the effect that on Sundays, young and old should 
assemble in the churches for prayer and study, and that other work should not be done 
on that day. 

In Leo's day, for a month after the conflagration, the air was full of particles of ash which 
covered the ground to the depth of a palm, and especially in Constantinople. The land 
was terrified, since there was also an earthquake and flames escaped from the ground 
where it had been torn asunder. Many places were burned down, and the end of the 
world was anticipated. From the earthquake and the fires, the city of Cyzica disappeared 
and many cities and villages in Thrace were ruined. Emperor Leo died of an affliction of 
the bowels. He died after [reigning for] 1 8 years. During this reign there was never an 
end to disturbances and destruction in the land and in the Church. All wise folk realized 
that it was due to the Council of Chalcedon and its unholy profession of faith that the 
Holy Spirit of God had become angry. 

[84] At Leo's order his six-year-old grandson, Leo, was enthroned. This boy was the son 
of Zeno, emperor of the East. A year later the boy's father came to do hommage to his 



son. The boy's mother tricked the young lad [g209], telling him: "When you see your 
father, put the crown on his head and prostrate yourself before him." The boy did as he 
was told, and the father took over the empire and ruled alone. And after a short time, the 
boy died, and many were deeply saddened. Now Zeno was Syrian by nationality. Leo the 
Great's queen, Verine (Berinay), entreated Zeno to adopt the Chalcedonian heresy and, 
when he refused, she plotted against him. She and her advisors had his brother Basiliscus 
declared emperor and his son Marcus, Caesar. To that time, Basiliscus had been in 
rebellion against Leo in Araklia. Now Zeno, who was warned in time, fled to his people 
in Syria. He entered the fortress of Salame and stayed holed up there. His wife Ariadne 
(Arkania) secretly joined him there. 

Basiliscus and his son reigned for two years [475-476]. He was a foul, diabolical man 
and a persecutor of the Orthodox. He raised the supporters of Chalcedon to the pinnacle 
and was hated by the multitude. [The latter] went over to Zeno and grew in strength. 
Now Basiliscus sent [g210] his general Harmatius (Artemis) to make war on him, 
however Zeno got him to make common cause with himself, promising to make him 
Caesar. Zeno [474-491] took his troops and went to Constantinople where he was 
received with joy. Basiliscus and his sons fled to a church. Zeno stripped him of the 
imperial purple, then sent him to Castle Limnes (Lamis) in Cappadocia. There, confined 
in a tower surrounded by walls, he died a miserable death. Then Zeno appointed general 
Artemis and his son as Caesars. However shortly afterward Artemis was killed and his 
son became a reader in the Church. 

Then the emperor, through the agency of Acacius, patriarch of Constantinople, began to 
reestablish Orthodoxy. He sent to Peter, patriarch of Antioch, and to Timotheus, 
patriarch of Alexandria, who were in prison in Constantinople and inquired after their 
confession of faith. In writing, they gave [g211] a restatement of [the doctrines of the 
Councils of] Nicaea, [and of Constantinople,] of Cyril and of Dioscorus, which the 
emperor had circulated throughout the land and which had been signed by 700 bishops. 
[Peter and Timotheus] remarked: "We accept these. But we anathematize the Tome of 
Leo, the Council of Chalcedon, Acacius, and Nestorius [doctrines, councils, and people] 
which tore the faith apart, and we also anathematize those who refuse to anathematize 
them." The emperor received [this document], and agreed with it happily. He then sent 
Peter called "The Washer" back to his see in Antioch with great honor. He died there. 
Timotheus was sent back to Alexandria. It was he who had been ordained [patriarch] by 
the Orthodox after Proterius, and then exiled [by Marcian]. 

[85] In this period the Samaritans rebelled and established a certain man named Justus as 
their king. He killed many Christians, entering the church in Caesarea [Palestina] and 
shedding blood. They pulled down this church [and built a temple in its place]. The 
Byzantine troops went against them and broke them. They sent [the head of\ Justus, 



whom the Jews had made king [g212], to Emperor Zeno; and the temple which the Jews 
had built they consecrated as a church in the name of the blessed Mary. The Jews found 
in Antioch also were destroyed. 

In these times there was an earthquake and the city of Nicomedia was destroyed — for the 
sixth time by the same means. Then Emperor Zeno died at the age of 60, after reigning 
for 16 years. Peroz, the bitter persecutor of Christians, died a wicked death and was 
succeeded by Valash who ruled for four years [A.D. 484-488]. In his day there was 
peace with Christians. Anastasius [491-518] [a good and pious man] reigned after Zeno. 
During his reign he discovered vices within the schools in Constantinople and in a rage 
ordered all the [students of the] schools destroyed, [a deed which greatly saddened the 
capital]. [Anastasius] rebuilt the city of Dara which had been ruined at the death of 
Darius. He renamed it Anastasopolis. In his day Nicopolis was demolished by an 
earthquake. After Valash, Kawad ruled in Persia [first reign, 488-496] but his brother 
Zamasp chased him out [g213] and ruled for two years [496-498]. However Kawad 
again grew strong, killed his brother and ruled for an additional 30 years [second reign, 
498-531]. Then the Huns arose and conquered the Persians. Now the Persians thought 
that there had been some collusion with the Byzantines, so they invaded Mesopotamia 
and destroyed many cities, and then departed. 

Then Timotheus, a very wise and virtuous man, was elected the 20th patriarch of 
Constantinople. He wrote to the emperor and established throughout the entire country 
that the words "Who Was Crucified" should be included in the Trisagion and that Christ 
God should be described as having one nature. Anastasius was overjoyed and stipulated 
this for the entire country. But in Constantinople among the Nestorians there was great 
disquietude about saying that the Trinity had been crucified. They threatened Timotheus 
and killed one of his priests. Furious, Timotheus left the city and entered a retreat. 

[86] Felician was the brilliant archbishop of Manbij [Hieropolis] who had been ordained 
by Peter of Antioch. He wrote extensively about Orthodox doctrine. Emperor Anastasius 
learned about him and had him brought to Constantinople with bishops and doctors of 
the Church. One of the doctors of the Church was Severus (Severianus) and there were 
200 priests with him [g214]. A great multitude of the proponents ofNicaea and 
Chalcedon assembled there. The emperor ordered that an inquiry into the faith be held. 
The victors were those espousing [the Orthodox] doctrines of Felician and Severus 
against their defamers. Then the emperor ordered that the Tome of Leo and [the 
formulations of the Council of] Chalcedon be taken from the tomb of the martyr 
Euphemius and burned in his presence. Now Flavian, patriarch of Antioch, did not 
support this action, and he blamed the emperor, thereby demonstrating that he was 
pro-Chalcedon. He was anathematized and sent into exile. Then Felician ordained the 
great Severus in Constantinople as patriarch of Antioch. He was a spiritual, educated 



man, who was very familiar with theological literature. On the day of his ordination he 
delivered the homily which begins: "Those who divide the unity of the Son [the Word] of 
God," in which he demonstrated the fallacies of all the heretics, which the Greeks have. 
They always read this because of its clarity in upbraiding them. The emperor sent 
Severus to the city of Antioch in great glory. [Severus] had been a student of the blessed 
bishop James of Seruj who possessed a divine grace and had been schooled by the Holy 
Spirit, and not by man. 

Now the Holy Spirit spoke through the mouth [of James] when he was just a child of 
seven years. When the patriarch Athanasius heard about this prodigy, he visited the 
boy's father's house in order to test the lad. Seated at table, [Athanasius] picked up an 
egg and asked: "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" And the child replied: "Do 
not deceive me, for the Father does not have precedence over the Word of His Son. " 
Enchanted, the patriarch on another occasion took the boy to church and had him 
mount the pulpit. And he said to him: "My child, tell us about the mysterious throne 
which Ezekiel saw. " Then [James] began with the words "You Who repose on the throne 
in heaven are the Word... " and then he interrupted this to announce that the Persians 
had taken Amida and that the imperial palace in Aleppo had been swallowed up— facts 
which subsequently were confirmed. Then the patriarch kissed James, saying that 
indeed the Holy Spirit was speaking through his lips. [James] delivered some 800 
homiles [during his lifetime] , illuminating the souls of many people, including 
Severianus. 

[87] Simon the potter who wrote homilies and hymns of Orthodox doctrine also was 
active in this time [g215]. 

In this period Kawad the Persian king mustered troops, went to Mesopotamia, and then 
came to the city of Karin [Theodosiopolis], and captured it. He made peace rather than 
destroying it because during the besiegement of the city, [the defenders] had not 
disrespected him. In the fall [Kawad] then turned and went to Amida which he put into 
great straits. Yovhanne's vanakan (the monastic) of Kart'ma went to them and urged the 
rich to have compassion on the poor and he said to the crowd: "Purify yourselves 
through fasts, tears, and evening vigils." An angel of God appeared to him and said: 
"This city will be destroyed because of its sins, but you will die and not see its ruination." 
Rain poured down and the Persians, with their long garments were hindered by it and 
weakened. Now [the Persians] had constructed wooden seige towers and had moved 
them close to the city walls. But the clever folk among the city's inhabitants created a 
[flammable] liquid with anise [or, fennel], sprayed it on the seige towers, ignited it, and 
reduced them to ashes. At this point the Persian king suggested that if they gave him gold 
and other things he would depart. But the city's inhabitants insulted him because of their 



success and did not repent their wickedness. Then the Lord grew angry and betrayed the 
city [to the Persians]. They killed 80,000 people there and took the rest captive. It came 
about that the great cathedral there was filled with people [g216]. But at the request of 
the Armenian head of the [Iranian] troops, they were spared both death and enslavement. 
The Persian king entered the church and saw a painting of the Savior on the altar. He 
inquired: "Who is that?" When they replied: "He is the Christian God," the king kneeled 
before it and said: "He appeared to me in a vision and said: 'Do not leave, I will deliver 
the city into your hands.' Thus it was not I who captured this city but their God who gave 
it to me, because its people had sinned." 

Taking many captives [King Kawad] went on to Edessa, but was unable to capture it. He 
returned to his own country, leaving at Amida [a small garrison and 3, 000] cavalry 
[under two of his trusted commanders]. When the Byzantine troops learned about his 
departure, they came and besieged the city, but to no avail, since the garrison was under 
the command of an extremely capable and intelligent man named Eglon (Acton). [The 
Persians were defeating the Byzantines.] But then a man named Gadan from the village 
of Kartha came to the Byzantines and told them what he planned to do. He went and 
tricked Eglon, saying: "Take 400 horsemen with you and we shall go and take 500 of 
their horses which are grazing out in the open." As soon as they departed, [Byzantine 
soldiers] sprang out of amuscades and killed them. When the Persians learned about the 
man's treachery, they were furious [g217]. [In reprisal] they confined 10,000 Christians 
in a certain spot and so deprived them of food that they were eating their own shoes. 
[The Persians] then arose one night and departed for their own land. 

[88] In the 22nd year of Anastasius' reign, [the emperor] sent troops (or, an 
ambassador) to the land of the Armenians and, taking them [under his protection], got 
them to distance themselves from the Persians. For seven years, the Persians ceased 
their depredations. After ruling for 27 years, Anastasius died on the 29th of the month 
of Tamuz. The 14th year of his reign corresponded to the 6,000th year of Adam's 
expulsion [from the Garden of Eden] . 

In 832 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 521], Justinus from Thrace ascended the throne [Justin I, 
518-527]. He is regarded as the first of the emperors of Greek origin. He was born in the 
village of Bederiana which he subsequently turned into a city and named after himself. It 
is claimed that the water there is so foul that, if boiled for a long time, it turns to blood. 
Justinus was a simple, uneducated man. Many of the Thracians had secretly preserved 
the Chalcedonian heresy among them, and now they fooled him, saying: "If you accept 
the doctrine of Chalcedon, the entire world will submit to you. Let the fourth council 
[that of Chalcedon] be added to the preceding three as valid." Overjoyed, [Justinus] 
[g218] issued a proclamation to the entire empire, delivered by armed cavalry, saying that 
the decrees of Chalcedon should be preached [as Orthodox]. This was done by bribing 



the troops and the military commanders. And the whole world was filled with strife. The 
Orthodox were persecuted and were deprived of their [ecclesiastical] thrones. Severus, 
the patriarch of Antioch, was outraged. He went to Alexandria in the sixth year of his 
episcopacy and anathematized the emperor and removed from the priesthood all the 
clerics who had accepted [the doctrines of] that wicked council. When Severus quitted 
Antioch, fire fell from heaven and burned the royal palace in that city. Nor did the fire 
cease for six years. Indeed, it burned the entire city, to the point that it seemed that the 
fire itself was alive. A year after Severus' departure, a certain Jew named Paul, a vessel 
of wrath, was seated on the patriarchal throne in Antioch. He assembled all the Syrian 
bishops and harassed them to make them accept the Council of Chalcedon. Those who 
accepted were sent back to their thrones, but those who refused were sent into exile. 
Here follows a listing of the names of those who were exiled and remained Orthodox, 
according to John of Asia: 

Antiperus [bishop] of Anazarba; 

Julius of Hagoni; 

John, metropolitan of Mopsuestia; 

Paul, of Iberia; 

John of Hieropolis; 

Paul the younger of Alexandretta, which is Iskanderun; 

and Nicholas of Tarsus. 

From Cappadocia: 

Proclus [bishop] of Colonea; 

Masinus of Armas; 

and Nicephorus of Sebastia in Armenia. 

[89] From Antioch in Syria: 

Constantia, bishop of Lourginia, who because of his virtue and sanctity had his throne 
placed close to that of the patriarch, and whose name was remembered after the 
patriarch's name at all the masses. 

Antonin of Aleppo; 

Philoxenus, archbishop of Manbij, who was burned alive in a lime kiln at Gangra after 

many torments and tortures; 

Patra of Apamea; 

Theodorus and Onesimus of Zeugma and Urema (?); 

Nonus of Seleucia; 

Isidorus of Qeneshirin (Genshiri); 



Maras of Amida; 

Thomas of Damascus, a hermit who ate no bread but only vegetables for 28 years; 

Alexandrus from the city of Abel; 

Thomas from Nargab; 

John of Turer; 

another John of Ahuran; 

Sargis of Cyrrhus; 

Thomas of Germanika, which is Marash; 

Paul of Edessa, who subsequently weakened and returned to his throne; 

John of Harran; 

another John of Emrin; 

Eustathius of Perrhin; 

Petrus of Ras al-Ayn [g220]; 

Nonus of Circesium; 

Paulus of Callinicus; 

Marion of Roman Rock, which is Hr'omklay; 

John of Telia; 

Thomas of Dara; 

and Aaron of Ashumusha [? Arsamosata]. 

From Asia: 

The chief bishop of Caria, Euphemius; 

Minibanus of Pisidian Antioch; 

Zoxis from the city of Eldka; 

Peter from Elanta; 

Julius of Halicarnassus, who subsequently fell into heresy; 

[90] Thousepeos of Ephesus, who accomplished marvels in Constantinople, standing in 
silent prayer vigil for three days and giving his soul to an angel of the Lord. His body 
radiated a heavenly light day and night which astonished the city. Trembling, they wanted 
to bury him with the martyrs, but a voice spoke from his body, saying: "Put me on my 
throne and bury me at Neocaesarea of Lerins." 

Elaphet of Casturan; 
Theodorus of Ulibio; 
Luke from the city of Mirin; 
Eusebius of Jedronus; 
Patre ofMalud; 



Pikatur of Philadelphia; 

Patre of Manke; 

Agathadorus (Akot'odor) of Ason; 

Pelaginus (Paghek) of Mantar; 

Photinus of Absenia (? Arsinoe); 

and Alexander of Kankar. 

We have omitted the bishops from smaller places, as well as the innumerable priests and 
deacons who, along with the senior clerics [mentioned above], were sent into exile, 
imprisoned, and placed in chains in Constantinople and Alexandria [g221]. After many 
investigations, threats, and tortures, those who still refused to accept [Chalcedon] were 
strangled. 

Here is a list of those who did not go into exile, but were killed in situ, in the land of 
Syria: 

Oprinus, from the district of Antioch, and Acriane from Masuptone, were assassinated 
by a general; 

John the savant, who fled to the monastery of Blravank' in Selucia and was slain along 
with other monks; 

Cyrius, superior of the monasteries of Antioch was put to death with all the brothers [of 
the monastery]; 

Monks at the monastery of T'lhat were slaughtered there after being tortured. 

The monasteries of Saint Romanus, Saint Simon, of the apostle Silas at Kessoun, were 
put to the sword, and Eghnat — the head of all the monks, after many arguments with the 
Chalcedonians — was slain with all the others. 

[91] The monks ofSasun (Sanon) John the abbot of the monastery of Kapra was slain in 
his place, as were the monks of many monasteries in the Edessa area. 

[The same fate was visited on] the [monks at the] monastery of Saint John in the eastern 
part of Harran, the monastery of Makanos, the monastery of the blessed Sargis, the great 
monastery on the mountain which, it is said, the apostle Thomas built. 

The great monastery of the blessed Sahak [g222], the grand monasteries of Mipos, 
Vizale, Begugel, plus seven others founded by apostles were destroyed together with 
their bishops and clerics in the Amida country. Similarly martyred were the [monks of 
the] monasteries of the blessed Ananians, of the blessed Abraham, of the blessed Daniel, 



and of the blessed Samuel. The [monks of the] monasteries of blessed Sabam and of 
T'ra, close to Ras al-Ayn were killed after much torture. What more shall we add? The 
villages and cities of the Orthodox in the area from Ras al-Ayn to Baghdad and the 
Euphrates was turned into a desert. As for those who fled and temporarily saved 
themselves, they were hunted down later and killed. 

Here are the names of those doctors of the Church who encouraged the faithful and did 
battle with the enemy in their writings: 

Eghia of Scaune 

and Sami, Cosmas, John, and Maron from the East, 

Cathpa, 

Saint Sargis the wonder-worker, 

Anton and the other Eghia, 

Simeon, 

Gayshe", 

another Sarkis, another John, another Simeon, 

the holy bishop Ananias, a man of God and miracle worker. 

[92] After encouraging and defending the desolated country all of them went together to 
the emperor and reproved him boldly. Now [Emperor Justin], that abode of Satan, 
brought forth many [theologians] to counter their objections. However, when they had 
been defeated by the blessed men he had all of these wondrous men slaughtered. 
[Justin] had them secretly strangled, and this deed was covered up. He also destroyed 
the monasteries in the vicinity of Rages, namely St. Zacharias, St. Aba, and St. Moge, 
with all their [g223] bishops and monks. Now there was a stylite named John (or, named 
Simon) there who throughout his life had not eaten delicate foods but instead had dined 
on roots in winter and vegetables in summer which his students gave him. And there was 
another [holy man] named T'e'odorite' who spent his time contemplating the wonders of 
God and who went [to Simon] and had discourse with him. There was another stylite 
named Thomas of Dara, a great doctor of the Church and a miracle worker whom even 
the angels respected. [These men] too were executed after much interrogation. 

Paul, the impious false bishop of Edessa, who turned back to the Chalcedonian heresy 
and who was infested with demons filled Mesopotamia with blood and caused many folk 
to flee to Persia where they were killed. Others, like wild animals, circulated around 
[hiding] in the mountains summer and winter, naked, barefoot, and hungry. No one 
could set down in writing that man's foulness. He summoned to him the blessed James, 
bishop of Seruj. After praying that his journey would be according to the will of God, 
the latter arose and went. En route he came to the monastery called Persians where an 
angel appeared to him, saying: "Turn around and bid your students to stay Orthodox, for 



in two days' time you will be die." And [g224] he turned and made preparations for his 
death. He cautioned his flock and his students and two days later, just as the angel had 
said, he died. 

In these times the Persian king Kawad demanded that Justin furnish 5,500 gold 
centinares to give to the general guarding the Gate of the Huns. [Justin] did not want to 
do this. As a result, the king of the Persians invaded Mesopotamia and went as far as the 
Antioch area. Among the captives he took were 400 virgins whom he sacrificed to his 
idol, Uzi (or, Kuzi). Then [Kawad] turned back. And thus did Justin wreck the country, 
physically and spiritually. 

In this period, the waters of Shiloh vanished for 15 years. In this period too fire fell from 
the sky and burned the city of Balbek — which Solomon had constructed on Mt. 
Lebanon — and the palaces located there. However there were three stones which 
Solomon had placed there to the mystery of the Trinity which were undamaged. In this 
same period a woman appeared in Cilicia who was a cubit taller than any man, and who 
did not speak any language. She ate human food, however. She maintained herself for a 
long period, receiving money from all the shops [g225]. But then she suddenly 
disappeared. And some said that she was a nymph. 

[93] In 836 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 525], Asclepius, a wicked and depraved man, was 
bishop in Edessa and he harassed the faithful to accept the impious Council [of 
Chalcedon]. He rounded up 20 wondrous cenobites, tortured them wickedly, and threw 
them into prison. Now it came about that in the second hour of evening a major flood 
poured down from the mountains. It clashed against the [city] walls and retreated. The 
second time it came, it demolished the walls, and coursed over the city, killing man and 
beast alike by carrying them into the Euphrates River. Asclepius saved himself by fleeing 
to the city's citadel as did a number of others. They wanted to stone him to death 
because they knew that he was responsible for this evil, and so he fled to Antioch. 
There, his co-sectarian Ephrem, patriarch of Antioch stated: "Behold, brothers, our 
second Noah has escaped from the flood — which came due to [some people] for the sin 
of not accepting the Council of Chalcedon." Justin sent a great deal of gold to rebuild 
Edessa. As they were digging, they found an inscription written on a rock which said: 
"Three times [g226] will a flood visit Edessa." This was written in Chaldean script. 
Thirty thousand dead [bodies] were recovered from this flood, while the figure given by 
the city's residents for those known to have been carried away by the waters was 
200,000. 

Asclepius and Ephrem amused themselves by polluting Antioch with that foul heresy. 
This visited on the city more of God's anger. A fifth earthquake rocked the entire city and 
all the buildings, homes, palaces, and churches collapsed. A completely new phenomenon 



was observed, for the wind delivered the punishment of Sodom. The river boiled over, 
and up from the depths came black waters bearing crustaecens, turtles, and the bones of 
wild animals. The earth vomited up fire and water. And fatal fumes arose which brought 
death to man and beast through different ailments. For some days fire, like rain, coursed 
down through the air. Everyone could hear the wails [of the injured], but no one dared to 
approach. For one and a half months the earthquakes and the fiery rain continued 
without cease. The great basilica, which Constantine had built, shook for seven days like 
a stalk in the wind until it cracked and fire arose to burn the church. Only twelve hundred 
and fifty souls survived these disasters. Suddenly there appeared a luminous Cross in the 
sky which disappeared after three days. And the people cried: "Lord, have mercy, Lord, 
have mercy [g227]." The cries of despair from people trapped [under the rubble] could 
be heard until their last breath. 

Asclepius and Ephrem, however, were nowhere to be found. They were sought for to 
provide advice and prayer. Now some of their intimates claimed that God spared them 
from this [divine] wrath by taking them up to Heaven. However because of the shaking 
of the ground they had been hurled into a copper vessel used for making tar. And it was 
in this vessel that their bodies were later discovered. The flesh had been cooked off their 
bones and their bodies had been reduced to skeletons, while their heads still were visible 
outside the vessel. This is how they were identified. Other areas also were ruined: Syrian 
Seleucia by the sea, and the city of Daphe, as well as an area of twenty mil about 
Antioch, and Anazarbus, the metropolis of Cilicia, and Corinth, the metropolis of 
Greece. Thus were many men and buildings lost during the wicked years of Justin's 
reign. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



[94] My dear ones, listen now to this. There is a land called the country of the 
Himyarites (Chamirs) which is located to the east of Egypt and north of India [g228]. In 
the period of Justin [Justin I, 518-527] a certain Jew ruled over them as king. He learned 
that the Romans were harassing the Jews in their own district [or, under their 
jurisdiction, and became enraged]. In revenge he began destroying Roman merchants 
travelling to India, and he closed the throughways. Now Ella-Asbeha/Caleb (Hndak'), 
king of the people of Cush, that is, the Ethiopians, sent to him blaming him for killing the 
merchants, and the Jew made a contrary reply. Then did Caleb amass troops and vowed 
to God that if he should conquer the Jew, he himself would become a Christian. [Caleb] 
went against the Jew, defeated him three times, and expelled the Jews from that country. 
Next he sent two princes to Justin and acquainted him with what had transpired. He also 
requested from him a bishop, to convert them to Christianity. Delightedly, [Justin] sent to 
him a bishop by the name of John, who was his co-sectarian [Chalcedonian]. [John] 
went there, baptized them, and the country, that is, Ethiopia, became Christian. Further 
rejoicing in Christ, Caleb put [g229] the country of the Himyarites under his sway and 
enthroned a king named Abraha (Abraham). Now there were numerous Christians in 
Himyars. Thus King Abraha sent to Timotheus, patriarch of Alexandria, requesting a 
shepherd for this flock. [Timotheus] sent them an Orthodox bishop and priests who 
opposed [the Chalcedonian bishop] John, defeated him with Scriptural doctrine, and 
removed him [from his position]. Then they transformed to Orthodoxy the land of 
Cushites and Himyarites. 

One should know that there are seven kingdoms in those parts: India is composed of 
three kingdoms, and the Cushites have four kingdoms. These are in the south, and 
occupy a greater part of the country in the south and east. The world is divided into 24 
zones, of which the Cushites, who are the Ethiopians, and the Indians possess 14. By the 
grace of God, they are Orthodox and profess one nature of Christ and God. 
Nonetheless, the clamor of Chalcedon reached even here, causing conflict between the 
king of the Indians, Ek'santon, and Intsuk' or Hndak'. In this strife, once more the Jews 
grew strong and put their king over the country of the Himyars [g230]. He began 
persecuting and often killing Christians, encouraged in this by Justin who had sent to the 
Jewish king, saying: "Rid yourself of that heresy [Monophysitism], for its practitioners 
are not my people. Nor are they yours. As we see things, you and I are of the same mind 



about Christ. You say that your forefathers in Jerusalem crucified a man, and we say that 
too, that the Jews killed a man. Those heretics there, however, claim that God was 
crucified. Now these words should not surprise you, because after the Council of 
Chalcedon, the Jews in Palestine wrote the same thing to [Emperor] Marcian. We, 
indeed, discovered this letter and reproduce its contents below. 

[95] "To the Emperor and Caesar Marcian, lord of land and sea, we Jews, 
the children of Abraham, always wish for your success. We now must express 
our deep thanks to you for freeing us from the undeserved contempt of the 
Christians who curse us saying that we are descendants of God-killers. We 
now hear that you, with learned men and the brillant senators, have 
stipulated that no one should dare to say that our fathers were God-killers, 
rather, that they killed a man. We implore your highness to impose upon us 
merely the price of a man's blood that was shed by our fathers. And we will 
pay that and free our fathers and ourselves from this insult. Be well. " 

Such is the letter we found that the Jews had written to Marcian, which Justin alluded to 
in his own letter. [The Jewish king] took heed of Justin's word and went against the city 
of Nigran where he killed the Christians living there, as [other] histories confirm as well 
as the remaining correspondence from Justin and the emissaries. For emissaries also went 
to Mundhir (Mndir), king of the Tachiks (Arabs) to preach about the Lord and they 
wrote to Justin [a letter] with this import: 

"Your Excellency, know that under the Lord's protection, we came to Het'eta 
[? Hira], the capital city of the Arab kingdom. However, the king [whom we 
were seeking] was not there. And so we arose with a guide and crossed a 
sandy desert for ten days until we came to a mountain where we encountered 
King Mundhir enthroned in venerable glory. We delievered your gifts to him. 
As soon as he saw us, he began to ridicule us [g23 1] and say, jokingly: 'Where 
is your Christ whom you have made Lord and God of Heaven and Earth? We 
have heard that you have taken from him not only his divinity, but the Roman 
Empire as well, claiming that he was a man who died and returned to life.' 
While he was engaged in this levity, emissaries arrived from the Jewish king 
bringing this news written down in a letter. 'Strengthened by the God of Israel, 
we have killed the Galilean and his followers as well. We went to Najran 
(Nigran) and, after swearing a false oath, took that city. We broke the oath, 
knowing that God would forgive us since we were crushing his enemies. But 
we cannot tell you just how much they love their Christ, for we have not been 
able to turn a single one of them away from him, not a child, not a woman, not 
a servant. Indeed, there was [in Najran] a royal woman with four daughters 
whom I spared and attempted by every means to make abandon Christ. I said 



to her: "May the Lord not make me destroy your beautiful face. Only say, as 
the emperor of the Byzantine says, that Christ was a man and that it was a man 
who was crucified." She spat in my face in fury. And I cruelly executed her 
and her [g232] daughters. Now do not make friendship with the Byzantines. 
On the contrary, let us go and destroy the Byzantine empire. We are sending 
this letter to you via the priest Abraham, who happened to be with us, to give 
you advance notice but I do not know what your response will be. Be well."' 

[96] It was after this that the Arabs and the Persians united and came as far as Antioch 
and enslaved Apamea. 

It was in this period that there was a disturbance in Constantinople. A judge was slain, 
and simultaneously the great cathedral church was burned down. All this was the fruit of 
Justin's wickedness. We have given merely a sketch of the acts committed against the 
land and the Church by this wicked and stupid old man who left behind him a legacy of 
curses. When he was nearing his end, he made his sister's son, Justinian, a Caesar. He 
gave him authority over the empire and sent him against the Persians. Now when 
[Justinian] reached Manbij, he heard tell about a priest's virgin daughter, and he wanted 
to marry her. The priest, however, did not want to give her in marriage. He said: "First, 
abandon that heresy [Chalcedonianism]." And so [Justinian] vowed to him that "she shall 
keep her Orthodox faith with her own bishop and priests, and should it be possible, I will 
preach your [Monophysite] confession throughout [g233] my country. You, on your 
part, pray that this comes to pass. " [The priest] therefore gave him the girl, who was 
named Theodora. Through her agency the Orthodox experienced much relief. [Justinian] 
took her to Constantinople with her bishops and priests. Three months later that impious 
old Justin died, after ruling for nine years. The young Justinian [I, 527-565] assumed 
office and reigned for 38 years and seven months. 

In that period, the Persian king Kawad sent his son to a Manichaen school in their 
country where he learned their doctrine and pledged to his teachers that if he should 
come to rule he would uphold their heresy. [The Manichaean teachers] said: "We will 
pray that you reign." Now the boy's mother urged Kawad to enthrone her son during his 
own lifetime. The king understood the reason for this and was frightened that other kings 
[in future] would heed [the Manichaeans] and that people would say that it was during 
his rule that Magianism had been destroyed. And so [Kawad] convened a great assembly 
and invited to it all the Manichaeans with their bishops and destroyed them. As for those 
discovered outside, he had them burned alive, and gave their churches to the Christians. 
This became known in Constantinople where there were also many Manichaeans. And 
an attempt was [g234] made — unsuccessfully — to turn them away from their heresy. 
They too, generally were burned to death. 



[97] At that time General Belisarius was sent to Persia with an enormous force on the 
great feast of Passover/Easter. The Persian suggested that: "We should honor the feast 
day of the Jews and the Christians who are among us and refrain from fighting until the 
holy day has passed." However [the Byzantines] did not heed this request and began to 
battle on the great feast day of Easter itself. God's wrath fell upon the Byzantines who 
were defeated by the Persians, for many died in the river and many others were slain by 
the sword, and only a few returned home. After this victory, when Kawad died [A.D. 
531], his son Khosrov [I, 531-579] ruled. His mother was tormented by demons and the 
mages and sorcerers were unable to heal her. She went to the hermit Moses [or, Simon], 
became Christian, was baptized and healed. 

In that period the Jews of Samaria set up a leader over themselves, destroyed Nicopolis 
[Neapolis/Nablus], and did much damage. The Byzantine troops arrived and wiped them 
out. Then Queen Theodora [g235] began beseeching the emperor about [reinstating 
Monophysitic] Orthodoxy. Consequently, the emperor sent a letter to hermits in the 
Egyptian desert asking them to come and, through God's grace and their own prudence, 
examine and establish what is correct and pleasing to God [doctrinally]. [Justinian] also 
sent to the blessed Severus who was at Alexandria to come forth and serve the Church. 
The blessed Severus and a great multitude of cenobites came to Constantinople. Similarly 
bishops from various districts, partisans of both sides, the Orthodox and the schismatics, 
convened and examined the matter for a full year. The Orthodox [Monophysites] 
gained — to the point that the persecutions against them ceased. Even Anthimus, patriarch 
of Constantinople, was converted to Orthodoxy through its correctness and virtually the 
entire multitude of the cityf's population] confessed the truth [Monophysitism] when they 
saw the miracles wrought by the holy men, with the exception of certain clerics who, 
devoured by ambition, heaped insults on this correct theology [g236]. 

Now while this was occurring, news came of an invasion of barbarians into Thrace. 
Twenty thousand armed men went off to war, in the joyous hope of [returning everyone 
to Orthodoxy. The emperor arose to accompany the troops outside the city, then 
returned to a church and prayed. The entire city was stirred up. The streets, terraces, 
roofs, porches of the church filled up with men and women shouting: "Pious emperor, 
[let there be] one confession [of the faith], make everyone hold to one faith." The 
emperor wept for many hours and then answered the people: "Let it be as you wish." 
Then [the crowd] cried out: "Emperor, make haste during your lifetime to bring peace to 
brothers divided. We shall all unite in the one nature of the Word God." And then again 
did the emperor cry, sobbing loudly. He exclaimed: "Go and let it be as you will." For the 
faith, affirming One Nature, preached and practised by those monks — the ones with the 
heavenly behavior, with the divine speech, and the miracle-making — that is the correct 
faith. 



[98] Now the emperor indeed wanted to restore Orthodoxy, since he knew that the 
Chalcedonians were schismatics. However, Chalcedonians secretly visited the emperor 
[g237] and instilled fear in him, both physical and spiritual. They said: "It would be 
hateful to God and to mankind if you believe your wife [in matters of doctrine]. For 636 
bishops in unison have condemned and anathematized those who did not accept [their 
Chalcedonian doctrine], and this confession has been proclaimed [as Orthodox] 
throughout the entire land. The adherents [of Chalcedonianism] will not tolerate your 
doing this." And so the emperor was frightened and in doubt about what to do. And so, 
with the threat of excommunication and even of threats against his life, the emperor was 
constrained to silence. When Severus heard about this he said: "Truly to Peter was given 
the authority to bind and to release. Now those who lack the confession of Peter do not 
have such authority. Quite the contrary, they themselves are guilty and should be 
anathematized. Peter himself professed One Nature [of Christ], not two, when he said 
'You are the revealed Son of God.'" Now when the hermits saw that the emperor was 
prevaricating, and that [doctrinal] peace would not be established, they said: "Oh 
emperor, our faith is not young nor recent that it will mature, it is not old and in need of 
rejuvenation, nor is it lacking and in need of supplementing. It is neither too much nor 
too little. Rather it is the same faith that the Holy Spirit through the prophets inculcated, 
that the Apostles assembled for, that Our Lord Jesus Christ God correctly realized and 
established. And there is nothing that will make us turn from it, neither gifts nor bribes 
[g238], neither death nor prison. On the contrary, we stand before man just as we stand 
before God. [O emperor,] you should think about your own faith." After saying this, 
they returned to their desert [retreats], while Severus, taking Anthimus along with him, 
went to Alexandria. 

The blessed stylite Mar Zohar who lived in the Amida area heard about these 
developments and went to Constantinople with ten of his students to challenge the 
emperor. When he was face to face with the emperor, [Mar Zohar] asked: "How long 
will the evils of the accursed Council of Chalcedon endure? Why do you not eliminate it 
and cleanse the Church?" The emperor was infuriated at this insult and cursing of the 
Council. With his hand he struck the holy man's breast and demanded: "By what sign or 
miracle do you know that your [doctrine] is correct? And why, in my presence, do you 
dare to curse the blessed Council?" [Mar Zohar] retorted: "I anathematize it and may 
those who believe in it be anathematized. And since you want to see some sign, I trust 
that the living God will visit such a sign upon you." [Mar Zohar] furiously quitted the 
emperor's presence. To the emperor this seemed like a gross insult and he immediately 
had it written that thereafter whoever cursed the Council of Chalcedon should be 
executed. This command was promulgated. 

[99] Then an angel of the Lord appeared to the emperor in a vision, striking his head 
with his hand [g239], causing the emperor to fall down, have the wind knocked out of 



him, and to lose consciousness. Then did [Empress] Theodora go and fall at the feet of 
the blessed [Mar Zohar], begging him to come and put his hand upon [Justinian] and, 
should he be restored to life, he would do as asked of him. The holy man came and 
touched him and prayed, and [Justinian] was immediately revived. And [Mar Zohar] 
requested that a council be held to restore Orthodoxy. Severus and Theodosius the 
patriarch of Alexandria, Anthimus and many others arrived for this. The wicked 
patriarch ofAntioch, by means of the wise Sargis, informed Agapetus, Pope of Rome 
[Agapetus I, 535-536] [about the council and he] joined them as well. The emperor and 
the city exalted him upon his entry into Constantinople. But three patriarchs, Severus, 
Anthimus, and Theodosius, did not go before him [in welcome]. After a few days, 
Agapetus began to blame the emperor, saying: "Who is that deceiver Zohar who has 
altered your faith in the blessed Council of Chalcedon and strained it through a sieve? 
Hand him over to me and I will advise him." The emperor so ordered. However, the 
blessed [Mar Zohar] had secluded himself in vigils and prayer, because it was the first 
week of Lent. Three times a messenger was sent to him, but there was no reply. Then 
[Pope Agapetus] sent to him saying: "Either you come to us here, or the emperor and I 
will come to you [g240]." At that point [Mar Zohar] replied: "Until Maundy Thursday I 
will not go out to see anyone nor will I receive anyone here." Enraged, [Pope Agapetus] 
held a meeting and anathematized the blessed Severus, Anthimus, Theodorus, and 
Zohar, and professed [the doctrine of the] Two Natures as well as the heresy of 
Nestorianism. The wrath of God fell upon him immediately, for his tongue grew swollen 
and heavy and his mouth could no longer contain it. [The tongue] hung out of his mouth. 
Three times without success doctors tried to ameliorate the problem but they were unable 
to reduce the swelling or to stop the progress of the ulcer which made him suffer 
miserably throughout Lent. He died wickedly on Holy Thursday. Then the weak emperor 
merely lifted his declaration about killing those who cursed the Council of Chalcedon, 
and the holy men returned to their own places. 

In this period the remains of the blessed Marinos were discovered in the village of 
Djantaris in the district ofAntioch. The body was intact in a wooden coffin, and it was 
covered with wounds. It effected many cures to the glory of Christ. It was taken to 
Antioch. 

In these days the Persians came into Mesopotamia and captured Aleppo and Antioch and 
even took away the marble columns. The Byzantines came and took revenge [g241] by 
plundering Persiafn territory]. After this, the Persian king Khosrov himself came against 
Edessa but was unable to capture it. After enslaving Seroudj and demolishing Antioch, 
he withdrew. 

[100] In this period two bishops of the Chalcedonian heresy in Constantinople, Isaiah 
and Alexander, were seized as homosexuals. At the emperor's order, they were cut in two 



and their bodies were hanged up on poles for the city to see, with town criers 
proclaiming: "Such is the punishment for such a deed." The word of Paul was realized 
here, that "Since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base 
mind and improper conduct" [Romans, 1:28]. 

In the fifth year of Justianian, the Persians arose and enslaved Delimiton and Callinicos, 
and destroyed Beth Balas (Pelia). From the latter city they looted and took to their 
country the relics of Saint Bacchus, as well as the gold they found in the tomb of Saint 
Sergius (Sarkis) [g242]. 

In the year 848 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 537] an event occurred that is beyond belief. 
Had I not known about it from many different writings, I myself would not have included 
it. The sun was eclipsed for 18 months. For three hours in the morning it would give 
light, but a light that resembled neither day nor night. During that year fruit did not reach 
the point of maturity, and all the land became as though transformed into something half 
alive, or like someone suffering from a long illness. An unprecedented plague ensued 
which began in Constantinople where the first day 5,000 people died, the next day 
10,000, the third 15,000, the fourth 18,000 — figures reported by the auditors that the 
emperor had placed at the gates of the city. They counted up to 300,000 people dead and 
then left off counting. The epidemic first attacked the poor class of the population, then 
the merchants {metsatunk') and the nobility including the Imperial Palace. The trouble 
began with a wound that formed in the palm of the hand, and progressed until the 
afflicted one could not take a step. The legs swelled, then the buboes burst and pus came 
out. The city began to stink [g243] [from the unburied corpses] and so the bodies were 
thrown into the sea, but the bodies kept resurfacing. The emperor ordered that 40 
dahegans be paid to people who would carry a corpse out of town, but often the bearers 
themselves fell dead in the street. Furthermore, it even happened that someone would 
enter a deserted house and gather up its treasures to steal, but would end up dying at the 
door, on the way out. 

The plague spread to Egypt where one city was wiped out [in this manner]: only seven 
men and a boy remained alive there. As they wandered around the city, suddenly the 
seven men died on the spot. Then the lad saw the angel of God in the guise of an old 
man. Seeing the child weeping, the angel removed him from the city and said: "Go now 
and weep not, for this punishment is the payment for heresy and sin." 

[101] In one city in the country of Palestine, demons appeared and said: "Go and find 
that [buried] bronze image and bow down to it and you will be spared." The people 
looked around, unearthed it, paid homage to it, and every single one of them died. This 
same pestilence, the wrath [of God] reached [g244] Armenia and Persia. The city of 
Hems, however, where the head of John the Baptist was located, and it inhabitants who 



sought refuge in it and its intercession — these were spared. 

In the 19th year of Justianian [A.D. 546] barbarians took and pillaged Rome. It was 
damaged to such an extent that those remaining moved to nearby areas since the city was 
uninhabitable [for a time]. In this period the blessed Severus died in Alexandria and was 
buried with honor. The Orthodox [Monophysites] installed the hermit Sargis as their 
patriarch at Antioch. In this period the monastery of the blessed Simeon in Antioch 
burned down and its monks dispersed. In this period [the date of the celebration of] 
Easter was upset. In the 23rd year of Justinian the river at Tarsus rose and flooded the 
city. In the same period the city of Laodicea with 7,000 on its inhabitants was destroyed 
in an earthquake. The city of Pompeiopolis (or, Pentapolis) in Mysia sank and its 
inhabitants, still living, were sucked into the pit. Their cries were heard for days, but no 
one could help them. In Phoenicia the cities of Tripoli, Byblos (Pilsos), and Trovas sank 
and all the cities of [g245] Galilee. The sea retreated by two mils, and boats became 
stranded on land. 

In these days Petra was captured and fortified by the Persians. When the Byzantines 
learned about this they went and besieged the city for seven months before retaking it. In 
the same period a catastrophic famine took place, to the point that a person might eat five 
(or, ten) Itrs of bread, swell up, and still be famished. For two years animals were dying 
of epidemic throughout the country and the labor of oxen fell off. There was also an 
earthquake in Constantinople which lasted for forty days and many homes became the 
tombs of their residents. Numerous churches were demolished and a part of Nicomedia 
was destroyed. In the 30th year of Justinian two of Constantinople's walls — those built by 
Constantine and Theodosius — fell into ruin. The city of Rhegium collapsed, and for ten 
days the country shook like a leaf. In this period lived the blessed James called Kurdnkar. 

In this period the Christian Arab king named Harith sent to [g246] Justinian blaming him 
for destroying Christianity with the Council of Chalcedon and for turning the Trinity into 
a Quadrinity Justinian sent some sages to make a reply to him. 

[102] When they arrived and the king saw them, he asked: "Are you students of that 
accursed Council? Then I shall not greet you. " They replied: "Why do you command 
that your kingdom do such things as to curse 636 holy men? Were they merely lay 
people, it would be a serious matter, to say nothing of the fact that they were leaders of 
the church and blessed people?" [King Harith] retorted: "I am a barbarian who does not 
know how to speak [properly], and I am illiterate. But let me ask you something: If a 
mouse falls into the food which will be eaten by multitudes of people, has that food 
become corrupted or not?" And they replied: "Yes. It has become spoiled." [King Harith] 
continued: "By the same token, have not those 636 bishops been corrupted by the Tome 
of Leo, which converts Christianity into Judaism?" After much additional discourse, 



those men made answer. "Let us celebrate mass and take communion together as a 
display of the friendship between your kingdom and ours." Harith replied: "We shall not 
take communion with you nor administer it to you." He ordered that the meat of unclean 
animals such as donkey and camel be prepared [g247] for their meal. When the food 
had been served, he said: "Eat." And they replied: "We will not eat such food, for it is 
unclean." The king asked: "How then would we not be corrupted by eating the flesh of a 
man, for that is your mass." Then he released them in disgrace. 

In this period died Empress Theodora of Orthodox confession, and she was buried by 
the patriarchs Anthimus and Theodorus. 

In Justinian's reign several heresies were uncovered. They are: (1) a group of heretics 
derived from Manichaeism who came from Persia wearing the clothing of monks. They 
communed using the blood of a white hen and that of a slain boy. Once a year they 
perpetrated these Manichaen crimes; (2) that of Stephen of Edessa, who claimed that 
after a certain amount of penance for sins, one could become the equal of the just; (3) 
that of John of Apamaea, who claimed that the essence of God was matter like any other 
element; (4) that of Julian of Halicarnassus, who claimed that Christ took the body of 
Adam before his corruption and sin, and that [Christ's body] was uncorruptible as the 
Orthodox believe. For Adam was the second [or a double], the first lacked the mixture, 
but after his sins [g248] it mixed with corruption. Severus upbraided him, citing 
theological literature, but he did not recant and remained in his cult; (5) that of John of 
Hareth who claimed that the godhead had three natures. He had been a student of 
Samuel of Ras al-Ayn. Emperor Justinian summoned him into his presence, listened to 
his heresy, and persecuted him. [John of Hareth] went and sought support for his heresy 
in the Bible; (6) that of Photinus of Antioch, who also claimed that the godhead existed 
in three natures, beings, and personalities. He also produced some writings in 
Constantinople; (7) that of Theodorus the Cappadocian which claimed that the deity of 
Christ was not the same as the Father; (8) that of Athanasius, grandson of Empress 
Theodora, who had studied with Simon of Edessa and then with the priest Sargis who 
became patriarch of Antioch. [Theodorus] preached the heresy of John, claiming that the 
Trinity had three separate natures [g249]. The emperor urged the patriarch Theodorus to 
make him a priest, but he did not agree to this. After the death of Theodorus he wanted 
to make Athanasius patriarch of Alexandria and wrote to the Alexandrians, but they did 
not agree. Kaynon, the bishop of Tarsus and Eugenius of Seleucia increased the heresy 
of Athanas and because of that sect got all the other heretics opposed to the homily of 
Theodorus, patriarch of Alexandria. (9) Ninth was the heresy of Anthimus of 
Constantinople who said: "Those who do not confess three distinct natures [of the 
godhead] are Judaising and opposed to Orthodoxy." 

[103] In these times Harith, king of the Arabs, came to Justinian bringing with him a 



statement of the faith [drawn up by] the eastern bishops of Greater Armenia, James 
Kurdnkar, and the patriarch of Alexandria. He said: "Those who do not subscribe to this 
are heretics and wicked." Now many did not subscribe to it and Harith grew angry at 
Justinian, saying: "O you unaware and foolish man, do you not know that all the 
heavenly wrath which has poured down on this country is because of this evil council? 
Why do you not eliminate the cause of God's anger?" And [Justinian] answered [g250]: 
"I beg you not to be angry. I cannot do what you say and also continue to reign. 
However, because of you[r complaint] I will not permit the Chalcedonians to deal so 
pridefully and assuredly with the Orthodox, and the persecution of those with your 
Orthodox confession will end. For I shall use you as the reason [for these changes], so 
that no one will blame me over [what constitutes] Orthodoxy. The Orthodox will grow 
and flourish and God will see to their [rehabilitation] at the proper time and under the 
proper emperor." 

Then King Harith summoned to him Orthodox bishops and James and had ordained in 
Constantinople a patriarch of the Orthodox, similarly in Antioch and Alexandria and in 
Jerusalem. He then dispatched them, and warned that no one should bother them. After 
this, Harith returned to his kingdom. Then the Orthodox said to the Chalcedonians, "You 
have confirmed the heresies of Nestorius, Theodoret and Theodorus." For this reason, 
the emperor convened an assembly of numerous bishops to respond to the Orthodox. 
The patriarchs were Domnus of Antioch, Apollonaire of Alexandria, Eutyches of 
Constantinople. Vigilius (Pakinos) [Pope Vigilius, 537-555] of Rome was then in 
Constantinople because Rome had become a ruin. But he did not [want to] attend the 
council, pridefully claiming that he was not one of their colleagues [g251]. They barely 
managed to get him to the conference. When they wanted to anathematize Nestorius, 
Theodoretus, Theodorus of Mopsuestia and the other Theodorus from Tarsus, Vigilius 
forbade it, saying: "One hundred and thirty years after their deaths it is improper to 
anathematize these blessed men who had been deemed praiseworthy by our 
predecessors." And since they were not anathematized, no one accepted this proposal, 
and they returned to their homes. 

[104] In this period the heresy of Julian [of Halicarnassus] revealed itself in Ephesus, the 
disciples of Julian claiming that Christ's dispensation was an illusion. Bishop Procopius 
came among them and was reprimanded by many but did not repent. [The people] asked 
that he, because of his age, select some one of his students as a replacement bishop for 
themselves. But he refused, saying: "I am only one individual [g252] and it is impossible 
[to do this] because three bishops are required for an ordination." Now when [Procopius] 
died, his students selected someone named Eutropius and placed [the deceased 
Procopius'] hand on his head, making him a bishop without a single bishop being 
present. [Eutropius] then ordained ten other bishops and sent them throughout the 
country to spread this heresy. One of them, Sargis, went to the country of the Himyars 



(Chamirs), and deceived many people. He made one [g253] Movses their bishop who 
died after three years. Others, in various places, slandered the blessed Severus, claiming 
that he had said that Christ's body was corruptible and had decayed in the grave. 
However, Severus had said that Christ had taken our corruptible body and made it 
incorruptible, not that it corrupted in the grave, and he in fact anathematized those who 
described the corruption in this manner. The Julianites claimed that [Christ] had taken 
from the Virgin's womb an immortal and incorruptible body and that his passion and 
death were apparent and not real. One of these [sectarians] went to Alexandria and 
mixed with other heretics, the Pantiaks and Lakinatsis where they ordained their own 
patriarch. He in turn ordained many bishops and sent them throughout the world. 
However, eventually they turned against one another. Two of them [g254] were in jail in 
Nisibis. The Persian king requested them, and they were released. Now one of them 
went north and east, and misled many people. He arrived at Arzn in Armenia, but the 
Armenians did not receive him. Rather they sent letters to the patriarch of the Orthodox 
in Antioch, Theodorus, asking his opinion [of the sectarians] , whether to receive them 
or not. However, he had just died. Then the Chalcedonians wrote a letter as did the 
Orthodox testifying to their disagreement; [the heretics] were persecuted. Nonetheless, 
they managed to deceive many people in Cappadocia and, it it said, a remnant of them 
remained among the Armenians until finally the evil was eliminated. 

In this period Emperor Justianian wanted to rennovate the Church of the Apostles and 
the mausoleum of the emperors. During the digging they discovered three lead coffins 
which bore inscriptions to the blessed Andrew, Luke, and Timothy. The discovery of the 
relics of Christ's Apostles brought great joy to the city. The sebastos of Caesarea 
Palestina sent to Constantinople the right hand of someone said to be John the Baptist. 
Although there was some questioning about this, it was placed in a golden reliquary. 

Justinian constructed 12 monasteries and 96 churches, nor did he cease building 
churches, hostels, and places for the poor. The Armenian Era [of dating events] began 
in this period. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

[105] In 871 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 560], the Armenian Era [of dating events] began. 
This was in the 34th year of Justinian [A.D. 552] during the tenure of the patriarch 
Nerse's, during the reign of the Persian king Xosrov. Others claim that [the Armenian 
Era of dating] was initiated during the tenure of Kat'oghikos Movse's after 40 years of 
our persecution over Chalcedon. 

After 40 years of persecution and incubation of the Chalcedonian heresy, the city of 
Amida experienced severe famine for eight months. After eating bread, people would 
experience a year of diabolical madness and frenzy bereft of their senses, to the point 
that they would not recognize their own belongings and their own homes. Rather, they 
entered their homes accidentally, and they committed fornication in public and in the 
churches. Then they would quit the city and begin barking like dogs, calling out like 
dumb beasts or roosters. They would strip and run away with no reason, exclaiming 
"The Persians are coming. They are coming, flee!" People from the surrounding district 
and from Edessa would come and encounter them and ask for God's mercy. After a year, 
[the afflicted] would regain their senses, don black garb, and go on pilgrimage to 
Jerusalem and elsewhere. After this, an epidemic spread which killed 36,000 people. 

Emperor Justinian accepted Chalcedon throughout [g256] his entire reign but rejected 
the letter of Ibas of Edessa, nor would he believe people when they told him that the 
Council of Chalcedon had accepted [Ibas'] letter. Now when the pope of Rome, Vigilius, 
declared that the Council of Chalcedon accepted the letter of Ibas, the emperor arose and 
declared three times: "The Council of Chalcedon is accursed." Nonetheless, [Justinian] 
was deceived by the heresy of the Julianites, through the bishop of Apamea. He wrote to 
Athanasius, the patriarch of Antioch, informing him about the heresy and insisting that a 
council be convened about it. A council of 195 bishops convened in Antioch but they not 
accept it. They wrote to the emperor adducing written proofs that this was a foul heresy, 
comparable to the torment of our Lord. This document was brought before the emperor. 
Now some say that when he had read it, he repented about both heresies and turned his 
face away from the doctrines of Chalcedon and of the Julianites, and died Orthodox 
[Monophysite], having reigned for 38 years and five (or, seven) months. When Justinian 
was dying, one of the marvellous [religious] men had a vision which he related: "I saw an 
enormous field and in its midst [g257] a furnace breathing flames. And I asked: 'For 
whom are these bitter torments?' And someone told me: 'This was prepared for Justinian. 



However, because of his love for the Church and for the poor, he did not allow himself 
to die a heretic. Rather, he turned to Orthodoxy and has gone to the place of the 
Orthodox.'" 

[106] After [Justinian's] reign his sister's son, also called Justinian [Justin II, 565-578], 
ruled along with his wife [Sophia, regent 573-574]. He was a formidable military man 
who did not permit dissension, and so all malefactors fled. He was from Thrace, and a 
valiant man. His feet, however, pained him. In the first year of his reign a blazing flame 
appeared in the sky and many said that it portended bloodshed. The emperor had 
specialists brought from Zamron and Mamcon who anointed themselves and were able 
to walk on burning wood without getting burned. Once again in the northeastern sky 
[g258] fire appeared. Many died after looking at it. It brought with it the smell of burning 
reeds or burning paper. Many people gathered in baskets [what had fallen from the sky]. 
The emperor, terrified, went to the church to plead as did the entire city. At the ninth 
hour a fiery cloud appeared with a Cross visible on it. When the multitude saw this they 
begged: "Lord have mercy, Lord bestow on us your great mercy." Then the patriarch 
said to the emperor: "Fear not. Do you see what has occurred in your own day, that a 
flaming Cross has appeared as happened during the time of the great Constantine? The 
Lord has honored you. Send to Apamea of the Syrians and have brought here the piece 
of wood from Christ's Cross which a certain bishop keeps." The emperor sent troops 
there under a military commander and had the Cross forcibly taken to Antioch. There 
was considerable resistance to this from the local people who believed that this Cross, 
their pride and protection should not be taken from their country. But after great 
opposition, it was taken and split into two parts. One part was left in Antioch and the 
other was taken to Constantinople. The city and the emperor came out before it and 
reverentially brought it into the city where they put it into the cathedral church. 

In the second year of Justin's reign the patrician John was sent with gifts to the Persian 
king Xosrov out of friendship. He went and returned in honor. In this period there was 
no [g259] king of Armenia since they had entered under Persian rule. Xosrov, king of 
the Persians, began to harass the Armenians to worship fire. The Armenians rebelled and 
sought troops in assistance from Jusin. They triumphed over the Persians and drove them 
from the land. Xosrov sent to Justin, saying: "Do not help the Armenians. Order them to 
return to Persian sovereignty and to pay taxes. If you care so much about them, then pay 
me their taxes." Justin replied: "Give me Nisibis, which is Christian, and in friendship I 
will return them to you (or, Why do you speak about Christianity? Are you unaware 
that, using the Armenians, I will take from you Nisibis and whatever else you hold in 
Mesopotamia?)" Xosrov was silent and frightened after hearing this. The patrician John 
got an order from Justin to discuss unifying the faith of the Armenians and Syrians [with 
their own]. He went to Callinicos (Ragha) and had discussions with James Kurdnkar and 



then held an assembly. [John] wanted them to accept the unholy Council ofChalcedon 
but they did not, and the Armenians ridiculed them. 

[107] In the fourth year of Justin's reign a disturbance broke out over [the date of] 
Easter, and they [g260] celebrated a false Easter. In this period, Bishop John of Sarmatie, 
a corrupting man without fear of God, persuaded the emperor to torment the Orthodox 
by depriving them of their sees, churches and freedom, putting them in chains and 
prison, and putting them to death if they did not accept their [Chalcedonian] doctrine. 
This came after forty years of exile and persecution. And so, bishops circulated around 
with troops, the faithful were rebaptized, other clerics were ordained, and those resisting 
were either killed, exiled, or imprisoned. The country filled up with great anger and 
disturbance. We are unable to write down the disasters this generated or what the holy 
Church endured because of it. After thousands and tens of thousands had been slain by 
the godless John, who was the patriarch of Constantinople, the emperor wearied of the 
calamities and said to John: "Give me a signed confession of your faith." John wrote this 
and gave it to the emperor who, upon reading it, realized that he was a Nestorian. He 
became enraged at him, removed him from his see and sent him into exile. Then he said 
to his military commander Anastas: "Quickly bring back from exile those Orthodox 
[g261] who are still alive, and do not allow any Chalcedonians to appear before me in 
future." But can one ignore all the things that had happened before this? 

The great man of God, the renowned John, who wrote books about the Fathers and 
many other books which he gave as ornaments for the Church had been exiled and was 
then in a prison in Constantinople. The emperor and the patriarch John sent to him for 
him to be released from prison and to serve as an intercessor in bringing peace to the 
Church — if he would accept the Fourth Council. But instead he cursed the Council, the 
patriarch and the emperor. They became furious, deprived him of visitors, and threw him 
into a damp cell. The blessed one suffered from pains of the legs and the head, and lice 
and inflammations caused wounds on his body, while flies and wasps bit him day and 
night. He was unable to cover himself and lay for hours like a corpse. After a long time a 
young man wearing a beautiful robe visited him, apparently one of the emperor's 
commanders. He was of Orthodox faith. He kissed [the prisoner] and who started to feel 
relieved of his pains. Then he [g262] departed. He returned bringing wine. [John] drank 
and then blessed him, saying: "Blessings upon you, my son, for caring for me." Thus for 
eight days did this youth serve, heartening and encouraging him, saying: "Be patient, 
father. Blessed are those who bear such tribulations for the sake of Orthodoxy." He cited 
examples from Scripture concerning the faith and patience shown by [his] predecessors 
such as Job and Daniel. 

[108] John was delighted with his wisdom and asked: "Young man, whence does such 
complete wisdom come to you as a lad, wisdom which I, in my old age, do not possess?" 



The man replied: "Father, everything is possible to the Holy Spirit. Rejoice for you shall 
emerge from this place and enlighten many people." After this the patriarch's archbishop 
came and said to him: "Holy father, hear and obey the emperor so that there will be unity 
in the members of Christ." The holy man responded: "May Christ God curse you. Have 
you no shame? Even if you are sincere, after causing such grief to the Church of God, 
who would reconcile with you, leaving aside the fact that you are a heretic and hateful to 
God." The [archjbishop departed. He went and narrated all this to the emperor and the 
patriarch. Then, at the emperor's command, people came and removed [John] from 
prison and took him [g263] to an island inhabited by idol-worshipping barbarians. He 
was thus exiled there. Through his doctrine and miracle-working he converted many tens 
of thousands of 'people to belief in Christ, to the glory of Christ our God Who is blessed 
for all eternity. Amen. 

News of the persecution of the Orthodox reached the country of Persia. The mages and 
the chief mage (mogpet) assembled and went before their king Xosrov, saying: "Why do 
you not do what the Byzantines do? When people do not turn to their faith, they kill 
them wickedly? In your kingdom live those who do not worship the sun as you do." 
When the Persian king heard this, he began a great persecution throughout all parts of his 
realm. He had three bishops taken and flayed alive, killed many others through diverse 
tortures, and demolished many monasteries. There is no tallying the slain. He sent to 
Armenia to build fire-temples there. Enraged, [the Armenians], encouraged by God, slew 
them without mercy. The great kat'oghikos who resided in Dwin went to Constantinople 
to secure troops to resist the Persians. The [Byzantine] patriarch [g264] and the entire 
city came out to greet his arrival in Constantinople. When the people in Armenia learned 
about this honor shown by the Chalcedonians and that the patriarch was keeping [the 
kat'oghikos] with him constantly because the army was not ready, they were worried 
that he might be tricked. Thus they sent this message to him: "Do not accept their belief 
because of our need [of their protection], for our hope is in Christ and we shall not 
change our Orthodox faith out of fear of death. Return [to Armenia] with us. " This 
letter was taken and delivered. However, the kat'oghikos had already realized the 
wickedness of the heretics, had separated himself from them, and was staying by himself. 
While he was delayed in Constantinople he passed away in Orthodox faith and was 
prepared for burial by the Orthodox. By order of the emperor he was buried with great 
honor in the Orthodox cemetery in Constantinople. This was to be a great support and 
confirmation of the faith and pride of the Orthodox, for the Armenians would remain 
with the truth, standing apart from both sides, from the Persians and from the 
Chalcedonians. For it is God alone, not man, Who can strengthen and aid people. 

[109] Now the empress Sophia who was the niece (sister's daughter) of the empress 
Theodora [g265] had been raised Orthodox and was a virtuous and pious woman. She 
was to have a religious vision. [Presently] she took communion from the [formerly] 



Orthodox priest Andreas. [This man] had been persuaded to exalt Chalcedon and to take 
commion with them, and for a year he had been taking [Sophia] with him to the 
Chalcedonian church. This went on for about one year. Then the blessed Virgin Mary 
appeared [to Sophia] and said: "My daughter, why have you abandoned me and followed 
after heretics?" And she replied: "It is because I do not know [the correct] doctrine. 
Teach me." The blessed Virgin said: "It is sufficient that you say 'the Father, the Son, and 
the Holy Spirit have mercy on me } and not accept communion from the Chalcedonians." 
When she had seen and heard this, [Sophia] left [the Chalcedonians] and did not taken 
communion from them. 

Now around this time, in the eighth year of his reign, the emperor [Justin] made his 
cousin Marcian (mother's sister's son) a Caesar, and sent him against Nisibis. Marcian, 
going to Dara, sent troops into the country of the Persians. [These troops] raided, and 
returned to Dara with an enormous amount of booty. The Persians were terrified. 
Through bribes and servile humility, the [Persian] marzpan who was at Nisibis kept 
Marcian away from the city until additional provisions could be brought to it, and their 
king could be informed, and the city's Christians could be removed. On the feast [g266] 
of Easter they surrounded the city and commenced fighting on all sides and were about 
to capture it. At that point Acacius arrived with the emperor's order that he was to 
remove and replace Marcian. Marcian said: "Give me two more days and I will capture 
the city." But this plea went unheeded, [Marcian's] honored status was removed and 
rudely. The army was saddened and left off besieging the city. Many thought that the 
emperor had died. They stopped fighting and dispersed, while the city fortified itself. The 
cause of Marcian's removal is worth mentioning. 

The country of the Tachiks (Arabs) is divided into two parts. Half, under a Christian 
king, was Christian while the other half, under the Persian monarchy, was pagan. At this 
time the Christian king was Mundhir, who had succeeded his father King Harith. They 
were always friends and allies of the Byzantines traditionally because of their Christian 
faith. Now it happened that Mundhir went to the country of the Persians, took captives, 
and then went and pitched his tent in that part of Arabia which believed that he was the 
Persian king to whom they were loyal. Thus people went to him unarmed. [Mundhir] 
killed them, and took [that portion] of Arabia. He looted and enslaved it, and returned 
home with an enormous amount of booty. When the Persians learned about this, they 
held a great meeting [g267], and resolved to go against Mundhir's land. When Mundhir 
learned about this, he sent to Justin requesting a lot of gold to purchase mercenaries to 
fight against the Persians. Justin was saddened by the request, thinking that it was a 
demand for taxes. 

[110] Then [Justin] wrote two letters. One was addressed to Mundhir which said: "Go to 
Marcian in Nisibis and provide him with aid. Then he will help you keep your country. I 



have ordered him to provide you with as much gold and troops as you want." To 
Marcian [Justin] wrote: "When Mundhir comes to you, secretly behead him and send the 
good news to me." It was God's will that the letters got mixed up. What had been written 
to Mundhir went to Marcian, and the letter to Marcian was delivered to Mundhir. When 
Mundhir read the letter he received he said: "In return for what wickedness are they 
planning to do this to me?" And he thanked prescient God for saving him from Justin's 
evil plot. He wrote to Justin, revealing [that he had learned about] his evil intentions. 
When Justin found out what had happened, he suspected that Marcian had sent his letter 
along to Mundhir, and that the two had become friendly. Thus he send Acacius to put 
Marcian in irons. 

Now it happened that the Persian troops learned that Mundhir had separated from 
Byzantine alliance and that he was not arriving to help the Byzantines who were 
besieging Nisibis. Therefore they [g268] returned to Mesopotamia, destroyed the 
Byzantine forces and put others to flight. Then they continued on to Antioch and 
Apamea, enslaving all of Mesopotamia which was under the Byzantines. Then they went 
against Dara. The multitude of Byzantine troops which had fled were seeking safety from 
the Persians there in Dara. The Persians went and besieged the city. But the Byzantines 
displayed great bravery there. Consequently, deceitfully, the Persians behaved as if they 
were giving way and departing. The exhausted Byzantine troops left off guarding the 
wall and went to relax and eat some bread. At that point the Persians soldiers returned, 
struck at the wall, scaled it with ladders on all sides, got inside, and began killing. Then 
they departed to their own land with great joy. Now the Persian king Xosrov selected 
some 5,000 young virgins from among the captives. He prepared troops and sent them to 
the country of the T'etalats'ik' in T'urk'astan with a lot of treasure to persuade [the 
T'etalats'ik'] to come to his aid against the Byzantines, Armenians, and Mundhir's forces. 
The girls, as they traveled along, watered the road with their tears, for they were the 
lambs of Christ who would be food for wolves. They came and descended by a large 
Persian river. There the girls took counsel with each other and came up with a plan. They 
said to the soldiers: "Have pity on us and go off a ways and avert your eyes so that we 
may bathe [g269] after our wearying journey." They agreed with this request and 
distanced themselves. Then [the virgins] began to pray: "Christ God, salvation of 
Christians, the crown and blessed bridegroom to virgins come to us and take us under 
your blessed veil and do not give us who confess You to the wild beasts. By the prayers 
of Your immaculate mother, the blessed Virgin, the Mother of God, and the intercession 
of all Your saints, by the blood of our parents who were martyred for You, slain by the 
impious ones [receive us]." Then all of them got on to the bridge, jumped into the water, 
and died. 

[Ill] When the troops realized what had happened, they approached but could not find a 
single one of them alive. They wept for many hours and then sadly went and told their 



king. He was astonished and did not blame [the soldiers] , but that plan of his came to 
naught. The Persian troops besieged the city of Dara for two years. The Byzantines 
displayed great valor there; however, the Persians were able to take the city by deceit. 
The Byzantines had become tired and left off [guarding] the wall to sit down to eat and 
drink. Then the Persians suddenly struck, encircled the walls with [g270] ladders, took 
the city, and destroyed it. 

After these developments, Justin became reconciled with the patriarch John. [The 
Chalcedonians] claimed that soon everyone would accept their doctrine. Encouraged 
by [John] and by other Chalcedonians, the idol-worshipping emperor resumed 
persecuting the Orthodox using death, various tortures, and insults which the pen cannot 
describe nor the ears listen to. So God sent to the emperor and the patriarch angry 
demons who seized control of their minds. They became enraged and began barking like 
the dogs and meowing like cats, and tearing out their hair and beards with all ten fingers. 
Other ailments were visited upon them, leading them toward death. Now after many 
insults and humiliations, both of them were removed from this life by the demons, 
choked to death. But before [the emperor's] death, during a slight break [in the demonic 
possession], people asked him: "Who will sit on the throne of the kingdom?" [The 
emperor] frequently named a Thracian notary named Tiberius. Thus they made him 
emperor. He was of Greek nationality. From the time of Gaius Julius [Caesar] until the 
last Justin, fifty emperors had been of Frankish (Roman) nationality and the army was 
called "Roman." This had been because of Rome and also because of Constantinople, 
which Constantine had named "the new Rome." The two were mixed together by 
language and writing, and did not separate until Tiberius. With him [again] begins the 
[reign of] Greek emperors. For from ancient times, from the time of the Macedonians, 
there were 38 emperors who were called Greeks, from Cronos the Macedonian to 
Perseus (or, Brasos) in the year 288 of the Syrian Era [B.C. 23]. The second period [of 
Greek emperors] began in 886 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 575] which corresponds to the 
year 15 of the Armenian Era [A.D. 566]. 

[112] Now at this time the Persian king, Xosrov, was elated by his triumph in 
Mesopotamia. He then went to the country of the Armenians where the Armenians 
displayed great valor, with the support of the Byzantines. Thus, for the second time, 
[Xosrov] departed in shame. But on the third attempt the king massed troops and, 
marching north toward the mountains and bypassing Armenia, entered Cappadocia. The 
Byzantines resisted him. He went to Sebastia, captured and burned it. The Byzantines 
then retreated somewhat. The Byzantines got reinforcements and went to war again, 
seizing [one of the Persian] camps, and the fire-temple which they carried around with 
them. This they pulled apart. Indeed, had there not been discord among the Byzantines, 
they could have completely eliminated the Persians [g272]. But due to the dissension, the 
Persians were able to gain strength. They went and took Armenian Melitene and burned 



it. The Byzantine forces sent word to the Persians: "What is this destruction and burning 
you are doing? Such is not [your] king's rule. Rather, if a territory is captured in war then 
it belongs to you. We do not commit such [destructive] acts in your country, even though 
our emperor is not with us." Now come and fight us. When the Persian [commander] 
heard this, he was ashamed and took his stand by the eastern side of the city. The 
Byzantine troops went and took up position opposite them and there was no fighting 
from morning until the ninth hour. Then the Persians went and started [retreating by] 
crossing the Euphrates and the Byzantines went after them. Hurrying as they crossed, 
many [Persians] were drowned. After this the Persians went to Armenia and then on to 
their own country. Then Xosrov made it a law that a king should not go in person on 
raiding and looting expeditions with the troops, only if it involved a battle with another 
king. 

The Byzantine forces headed northward to war with a part of the land of Armenia and to 
loot it because of [the Armenians' anti-Chalcedonian] Orthodoxy. Since they were 
Christians, [people from] the monasteries and villages went out before them preceded by 
the Cross and the Gospel, to inspire the Byzantines with respect and affection by these 
signs of Christ the Redeemer. [The Byzantines] impudently hurled those crosses to the 
ground, stripped the clerics and laity of their clothing, killing [g273] or enslaving them, 
raped believing virgins, and tore women's earrings from their ears. Bracelets which were 
difficult to remove they ripped from their arms, tearing the flesh. And they did many 
other wicked things. Taking the booty, they turned back joyfully, as though from a major 
victory. Leaving their horses and removing their weapons, they sat down to eat and 
drink. It was then that the Persian troops turned around, and then that the rage of God 
fell upon their heads for the evils they had visited upon the Christians. The Persians came 
and destroyed them. They seized all the horses, weapons, and everything [the 
Byzantines] had, and departed in great triumph. 

[113] At that time there assembled the bishops, priests, and monastics of Mesopotamia 
and Armenia who were under the rule of the Byzantines. They went to Tiberius to ask 
for peace so that they might practise their faith freely and in exchange they would serve 
loyally "Otherwise, slay us with your sword, " [they said] . Some of the Chalcedonians 
attempted to get the emperor angry with the Orthodox [Monophysites]. However, the 
emperor silenced them, held an assembly and loudly declaimed: 

"Hear all that I have to say. Most of you do not know how Emperor Justin 
died since you were not present, whereas I was there with him, morning and 
[g274] evening as many of you can testify. The emperor was suffering from 
horrible pains and I was attending him. I saw the angel of the Lord who stood 
by his head. At times the angel would threaten the demon who tormented him 
and reminded him of his cruelty toward the Orthodox, and sometimes [the 



angel] would let the demon torment him. The emperor said: 'Merciful God, 
requite those who made me persecute the Orthodox.' Then he said to me: 'My 
son, Tiberius, do not follow in the footsteps of one who, when given the 
kingdom by God, tried to remove Him from it. Do not imitate my evil ways. 
Rather, revere God, revere the Orthodox whom I persecuted, revere the 
empress who raised you and has been a mother to you.' These and other 
similar things he said to me, while he endured the torments he had earned. As 
he was dying Justin said to me: 'There are two things you must do, my son. 
First, reinstate those whom I have persecuted and follow their doctrine. 
Second, obey Sophia who was your own regent and has become your 
mother.'" [Now, said Tiberius:] "Let none of you try to turn me towards 
Justin's wickedness through your own wicked advice, because I will not heed 
words that lead to destruction." And he said to the Orthodox who had 
assembled: "My blessed fathers, go in assurance and live in peace [g275] 
observing your own faith. And pray for us." 

Empress Sophia would not allow Tiberius' wife into Constantinople. The patriarch said to 
Tiberius: "Repudiate your wife and marry the empress." Saddened, Tiberius replied: 
"Now I know that fear of the Lord does not exist in your sect, Chalcedonianism. You say 
that I should leave my lawful wife who has born me three children and shared my 
poverty when in exile, and arouse the wrath of God?" The patriarch departed in great 
shame. Sophia heard about this and had Tiberius' wife brought into the city, loving her 
and calling her by her name of Helen. During the emperor's illness, Tiberius had been a 
Caesar. He was a generous and merciful man, and when he became emperor he 
disbursed 72 centenarii to the poor, on a daily basis. 

[114] At this time Mundhir learned about the death of Justin and the elevation of 
Tiberius. He went to him and there was great joy. But Tiberius blamed him, saying: 
"Why did you let the Persians attack us?" [Mundhir] took out and gave to him the letter 
which Justin had written to Marcian regarding having him assassinated [g276]. Tiberius 
read it and was greatly astonished. Then Mundhir added: "It is because of the friendship 
you have made with the Orthodox that I have become reconciled with you and have 
come here. I beg you to proclaim that Orthodoxy may be practised freely throughout the 
entire land." Tiberius so ordered and it was written that Orthodoxy could be preached. 
Mundhir then visited Antioch, since Orthodoxy had been established there initially, and 
spoke with the patriarch Gregory. While matters were at this pass, a letter arrived from 
[Mundhir' s] sons saying: "The Persians are about to come against us." Thus Mundhir left 
for his own country, and the Persians halted their activities. 

In the fourth year of Tiberius' reign the Slavs came unarmed, horseless, and naked and 
took much booty in Thrace and Thessalonica. They seized the royal herds [of horses], 



weapons, and weapons factories and thus became an army, armed and armored, for up 
to that time they had neither horses nor weapons nor trained cavalry. They went and 
besieged Sirmium. Then they sent to Tiberius saying that he should either come and fight 
or give over the city to them so that they might dwell there in peace. The emperor 
delayed for two years, expecting the Lombards to arrive. But when they did not come he 
was forced to give the city [g277] to them, that is, the city and the goods but not the 
people. [The Slavs] entered the city and found the people forsaken and weak from 
hunger since they had been eating dogs and cats during the siege. They showed them 
great humanity, providing bread and wine. But some died from eating and drinking so 
quickly. Seeing this, [the Slavs] nourished them with lighter food in smaller amounts. 
And when the people were better, they put them outside the city and they themselves 
inhabited it. A year later the barbarians set fire to the city and then departed. 

[115] In this period Tiberius made Maurice a Caesar and sent him to [fight against] 
Persia. He went and discovered that a large bridge over a river had been destroyed, and 
believed that Mundhir had informed the Persians [about his expedition]. He went to 
Tiberius and bad-mouthed Mundhir, and they were looking around for a means of 
seizing him. One of the princes named Magnus undertook to capture him. He took 
troops and departed as though he were heading for Persia [g278]. [Magnus] then sent to 
Mundhir asking him to come to discuss some matters relating to the Persian 
[campaign] . Without any suspicions, Mundhir went to him, and they engaged in a great 
deal of feasting. Now in the night they seized him while he was in his cups and careless 
and sent him to Tiberius. He was put into prison. When his son Numan (Eman) heard 
about this, he came with troops into Byzantine territory to take treasure and livestock but 
not to hurt people. [The Byzantines] planned some wickedness against him, intending to 
capture him. Now when [Numan] realized that they were not going to release his father, 
out of concern for his father he risked his own life and went to Tiberius swearing that if 
his father were freed he would stand with them against the Persians. Tiberius agreed and 
they swore an oath. It was then that the impious Maurice said: "It would be a sign of the 
sincerity of your vow if you take communion with us." [Numan] replied: "I cannot do 
that since many of my people would become angry with me (or, would stone me to 
death). I will speak the truth even if it means death since I do not want to be hateful to 
God as you are. [The Byzantines], hearing this, became enraged. They seized him and 
sent him into exile by his father. Now when this bad news reached the Arabs they split 
into fifteen different factions and selected leaders. Nor did they agree with one another 
[g279]. Some were bribed by Persian gold and went under Persian suzereignty Others 
united with the Himyars (Chamirs), a very few others put themselves under Byzantine 
suzereignty. Thus as a result of the wicked Council of Chalcedon, that marvellous 
kingdom was eliminated. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

[116] Tiberius, however, was full of charity. He gave a quarter of his total wealth to the 
poor, and eliminated [some] taxes throughout his realm. He was a decent, optimistic, and 
sincere man who reigned for four years and then took ill. Now some claim that he ruled 
for only one year. But do not believe them, for we have confirmed from many books that 
he ruled for four years . He gave his daughter [Constantina] in marriage to the Augustus 
Maurice, making him emperor. [Maurice] hailed from the village of Arabissus (Arp'sus) 
in Cappadocia. Then Tiberius died, leaving a good portion of the land grieving. And 
Maurice became emperor [582-602]. 

Rome, however, rebelled against Maurice and seated Germanus (Garamios) as their own 
emperor. Previously he had been successful in warfare against the Persians. Then the 
Persian king Khosrov died and his son Hurmazd [V, 579-590] reigned. Now [Maurice] 
sent [emissaries] to Rome so that they would recognize him [as emperor] [g280], but the 
Romans refused. Instead, they went to the country of Persia and took captives, sending 
3,000 to Maurice. Germanus subordinated himself to Maurice, who was delighted. And 
so he agreed to let him rule the Roman [sector of the empire] , under his authority. 
[Maurice] ordered that the city of Arabissus — whence he himself hailed — should be 
enlarged. This was located in Second Armenia, and so some said that he was of 
Armenian origin. Four years later the city was devastated by an earthquake and was 
rebuilt with the greatest care, better than before. But it was hit by an earthquake yet 
again. 

Maurice then placed his brother-in-law, his sister's husband, Phillippicus, as military 
commander and sent him against the Persians. The Persians had sent much treasure from 
Nisibis to Martyropolis (Mup'arghin) and took that city. Phillippicus went and retook it 
and killed the Persians who were there. That same year the Persians turned against their 
king Hurmazd and blinded him. He died in the eighth year of Maurice's reign. In the 
ninth year of Maurice, Hurmazd's son, Khosrov, was enthroned [Khosrov n, first reign, 
590]. 

[117] Maurice made his son Theodosius a Caesar and held a grand ceremony [g281] 
with the patriarch placing the crown on his head. The same year [590-591] the Persian 
prince Vahram [Choben] revolted against Khosrov. Khosrov was frightened and went to 



Edessa. From there he sent to Maurice asking him to be his father and help him to 
[rejtake Persia. Maurice sent Thracian and Armenian troops which took and established 
him on his throne. They returned with gifts and the Persians returned to the Romans 
Dara and Ras al-Ayn. Maurice gave his daughter Maria in marriage to Khosrov, sending 
her along with bishops and priests. Khosrov built three churches in Persia for his wife 
and the patriarch of Antioch went and blessed them. One was named for the Mother of 
God, one for the Holy Apostles, and the third for Saint Sargis. And great peace 
prevailed. 

Maurice reigned for 20 years [g282]. He became careless about the army and reduced its 
gifts and stipends. Now it so happened that the Bulghars had entered Thrace. The 
Byzantine army went against them, chased them out, then arrived at Constantinople with 
a message for Maurice: "God has granted you peace during your reign. However, an 
army does not live on peace alone but on honor and pay. Now either you restore to us 
our proper respect and money, or you should regard us as your enemy from now on." 
But [Maurice] hardened against them. Then the troops spoke to his brother, saying: "We 
shall kill your brother and make you the emperor." [The brother] went and told Maurice 
about this. Maurice, horrified, fled to Chalcedon. The army went there and killed him. 
They enthroned a certain one of the military commanders named Phocas [602-610]. 

Khosrov, the king of Persia, heard about the murder of Maurice and his sons. He was 
deeply [g283] saddened, donned [mourning] black together with all the Persian Houses, 
and wept for many days. Then he acquainted [people] with the good things Maurice had 
done for the Persians. "It was he who established me on my throne, which had been 
usurped. Now tell me, who among you will exact vengeance for his blood, so that my 
heart will be eased?" A certain one of the great princes named R'omizon stepped forward 
and said: "If you give the order I shall go and work your will on the Byzantines and I 
shall fill their country with the blood of any Byzantine I encounter." King Khosrov was 
delighted and said: "I have confidence in you. Henceforth you shall no longer be called 
R'omizon but rather Shahrvaraz, for you are a brave man." And he sent him off with the 
entire Persian army. [Shahrvaraz] came to Mesopotamia and captured Dara and Ras 
al-Ayn and Merdin and then wintered in Mesopotamia. After that he took Harran, 
Aleppo, and Antioch. The cities were willingly given over to him since he hurt none but 
the Greeks and Romans. In the eighth year of Phocas, all Mesopotamia was in Persian 
hands. Then they passed on to Cappadocia and Galatia, to Ancyra and Asia, and went 
raiding as far as Chalcedon shedding a lot of blood. For Khosrov had in mind that he 
would rule over even more of the Byzantines, since he had been adopted by Maurice and 
also was his son-in-law [g284]. 

[118] Emperor Phocas, who was weak and womanish, put to death many military leaders 
and soldiers on mere suspicion, and was loathed by everyone. It happened at this time 



that there were two patricians in Africa who were prominent and valiant in warfare. One 
was named Gregory and the other, Heraclius. These two men planned to kill the 
emperor. They assembled troops and sent their own sons with them, one by sea and the 
other by land. Heraclius' son had the same name as his father. It had fallen his lot to take 
the sea route, while Gregory's son was to go overland. And they vowed that whichever of 
them reached Constantinople first would become the emperor, while the second to arrive 
would become the Caesar. They also wrote to the city and to the court revealing their 
intentions so that [the Constantinopolitans] would kill Phocas and enthrone as emperor 
whichever of their sons arrived first. Now it came about that Heraclius arrived first, due 
to favorable winds. When [the addressees] saw the letter, they immediately killed Phocas. 
Then they enthroned the brave and prudent Heraclius, and there was great rejoicing for 
all and also peace. 

When the king of the Persians had conquered Mesopotamia, he sent Nestorian and 
Chalcedonian bishops to them from Persia. The chief of these was named Ashximia (or, 
Axshimia). However the Orthodox [Monophysites] in Mesopotamia did not accept them 
and wrote a letter to the Persian king begging him not to overturn their patrimonial 
religious arrangements. [King Khosrov] heeded them and called [the bishops] back. They 
asked Khosrov to order that a council be convened to investigate why it was that [the 
Monophysites] rejected them. This proposal was quite agreeable to Khosrov since, for 
some time, he had been keen to know what this conflict among the Christians was 
about. Khosrov sent [letters] to Armenia and to Mesopotamia (or, to Syria) that wise and 
ranking clerics should go to him and reply to the Chalcedonians and Nestorians. Nerses, 
the great kat'oghikos of the Armenians, and the Syrian patriarch [g286] of the Orthodox, 
Athanasius, and his brother Severus. [The latter] had been called to the priesthood by 
miraculous signs, as we shall now relate. 

[The 1870 edition (pp. 305-307) here describes the lengthy theological debate between 
the Monophysites, Chalcedonians, and Nestorians. An expanded version of the debate 
appears in the 1871 edition (pp. 288-291). We omit the translation of this section.] 

[The narration returns to the biography of the patriarch Athanasius, who was one of the 
prominent attendees at the theological debate:] 

A pious and God-fearing man of Samosata died and left two sons, Athanasius and 
Severus and their mother Mani. [He also left] a great deal of property. Their mother 
Mani exhausted all her wealth, giving it away to the poor. She dedicated her sons to 
God, and reared them with prayers and faith, [to the point that] when she saw a bishop, 
priest, or monk, she would say: "Make the sign of the cross over me." Then she would 
extend her arms out before her as though holding a parcel, go to her home, and pour 
what she held in her arms over her sons' heads [g287]. When the boys asked: "What is 



that, mother?" she replied: "It is a blessing, my sons, which I have got for you from the 
holy men of God." [Mani] sent her sons to school. When the children grew older, they 
went [as students] to the monastery of Saint John. 

[We omit the translation of the next section which describes the miracles that attended 
Athanasius' rise to patriarch, his invitation by King Khosrov to participate in the religious 
debate, and his defense of Monophysitism. At the conclusion of the debate, Khosrov is 
won over to Monophysitism.] 

[119] Then the king honored the patriarch of the Armenians [Nerses], entrusted his son 
to him for tutoring, and he placed the entire land of Armenia under his command. [King 
Khosrov] also gave very grand gifts to him and to Athanasius and gave over the land of 
Persia to them to look after the Christians there in accordance with their doctrines, to 
appoint bishops, priests [g291], and deacons, to construct churches and [promote] 
church life. Thus does God glorify those who glorify Him. Glory to Him forever. 

Heraclius [A.D. 610-641] reigned in the 21st year of Khosrov. He sent to Khosrov, to 
reestablish friendship, saying: "We have slain Phocas, the one who murdered Maurice. 
Make peace with us." However, Khosrov did not accept this. Instead, he arose and came 
to Armenian Caesarea, to reinforce his troops. He captured [Caesarea], and killed 
myriads of people, and then turned back. In the fourth year of Heraclius, [the Persian 
general] Shahrvaraz (Shahrparzn) subjugated Damascus to the Persians. The next year 
he took Galilee, and in the sixth year of Heraclius he took Jerusalem and killed 90,000 
people in it. At first he did no harm to the Jews [who had] purchased captured Christians 
at a low price and then killed them, out of their wickedness. The Persian general took the 
Cross of Christ and sent it to Persia along with Zacharias, the patriarch of Jerusalem 
[g292] who was Chalcedonian. Subsequently [Shahrvaraz] exterminated all the Jews in 
Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, and then sent [the captives] on to Persia. The next 
year Shahrvaraz went to Egypt and conquered it and then subjugated to Persia all of 
Libya as far as the Cushites (Ethiopians). That same year yet another Persian general, 
Shahe'n, came against Chalcedon, and took and destroyed it. He turned back, conquering 
Cilicia, and then returned to Persia with a large amount of captives and loot. They even 
took to Persia marble columns and vessels made of copper and iron. And then the entire 
kingdom of the Byzantines, from sea to sea, was obedient to the Persians. Heraclius 
proclaimed his son Constantine Augustus and sent him against the Persians. 

[120] In was in this period that Muhammad [c. 570-632] [g293], son of Abdullah, 
appeared in [the city of] At'rape' (Yathrib/Medina) in Arabia. Arabia extended in the 
north from the Euphrates River to the sea in the south, and in the west from the Red Sea 
east to the Persian Sea. Its inhabitants are called Ishmaelites, after Ishmael; Saracens, 
after Sarah; Hagarenes, after Hagar; and Madianites, after Kendura's son, Madan. 



This Muhammad arose from the city of Medina and, involved in commerce, travelled 
from Palestine to Egypt. [There] he became acquainted with an Arian cenobite who 
brought him to a belief in God through his sermons. [In Palestine] he became 
acquainted with Jews who taught him their laws, and he believed in God. Then 
[Muhammad] went and preached to his own clan. Some of them he convinced, but 
others chased him away, regarding him as a fanatic. He arose and went with his 
supporters into the desert. He enslaved and ruined those who would not submit. Many 
[folk] adhered to him and they went on expeditions to areas of Palestine, capturing and 
bringing back [their booty]. They became rich, and their army grew larger. 
[Muhammad's] renown spread. The Jews united with him and gave him a woman of 
their people. The Jews liked him and took him with them, and, using him, they harassed 
the Persian troops. And [the Arabs] harassed the Persians and ruled over many lands. 
[Muhammad] first appeared in the 12th year [g294] of Heraclius [622], in 933 of the 
Syrian Era [622], and in 60 [or, 67] of the Armenian Era [611, 618]. 

In this period there was a half eclipse of the sun which lasted from the month of Areg in 
the fall [eighth month] until the month of K'aghots' at the beginning of summer [fifth 
month]. And people said that the sun would never come out of hiding. 

In the 1 5th year of Heraclius the Persians seized the island of Rhodes. [The Persian 
generals] Shahrvaraz and Kardarigan (Gharato'gh) descended upon Constantinople. The 
Persian troops had already spread into Thrace and some were on the western side, and 
they besieged Constantinople which had no hope from any quarter. 

[121] But suddenly relief came to them in this fashion. It happened that [certain Persian 
officials] accused Shahrvaraz in Khosrov's presence, saying that Shahrvaraz had grown 
arrogant in his activities. [They claimed that Shahrvaraz had said:] "That womanizer 
Khosrov sits inebriated among his concubines and harlots, thinking that he is king. He 
does not realize that it was I who took [territory from] the Byzantine empire and added it 
to Persia, thereby giving him ease. And he thinks that I am going to give him the country 
I have conquered through my own labors. " When Khosrov heard this he was enraged, 
and sent a letter to Kardarigan, the second general, saying: "As soon as you see this 
message, behead Shahrvaraz and send his head to me." This letter fell into [g295] the 
hands of Heraclius' servants. They brought it to Heraclius who secretly informed 
Shahrvaraz of its contents. Shahrvaraz came to Heraclius and made a pledge to him. 
[The servants] told general [Shahrvararz] about it and even showed him the letter. 
Shahrvaraz took the letter and cunningly altered it as though [the new contents] had 
come from Khosrov. Here is what it now said: "Shahrvaraz and Kardigan, my loyal men, 
as soon as you receive this letter you are to kill the following three hundred princes [in 
your entourage]" and the names of each were listed. Now Shahrvaraz showed this to 
Kardigan. The matter became known to the grandees [i.e, the princes in the list] and they 



were moved to fury against Khosrov. They rebelled from Khosrov and established 
friendship with Heraclius. They gave him Shahrvaraz's son as a hostage, and then 
departed for Persia, leaving Byzantine territory. Heraclius then sent to the king of the 
North, the Qaqan/Khagan/Kagan (Xak'an), promising that he would give him his 
daughter Eudokia as a wife if he would provide 40,000 cavalry [for an expedition] 
against Persia. The Qaqan promised to fulfill his request, and sent the troops through the 
Caspian Gate, for, he said, I have some work to do [in the area] , to destroy the city of 
Tiflis [P'aytakaran k'aghak'J . 

Heraclius arose and went to Armenia in advance of/to meet with the Northerners' 
troops, since it was with them that he was going against Persia. When the Persian king 
[g296] heard this, he massed troops, put them under a commander, R'uzi-Bahan, and 
sent them against Heraclius. Heraclius took the Northerners and went against 
Rozibahan and completely defeated him. Hearing about this, Khosrov fled to his fortress 
of Sagarta [or, Sagan]. 

[122] Khosrov's son Shiruya (Shiri, Shiroe, Kavad n, A.D. 628), who. at that time was 
in prison, was released by the will of the Persians. [He] killed his father, and ascended 
the throne. Heraclius went to winter in Assyria [g297] at Nineveh. Shiruya sent to him 
seeking friendship and pledged that he would remove his troops from Byzantine territory. 
Heraclius accepted this. [Heraclius] sent his brother Theodorus (T'e'odorike) to Edessa 
in Mesopotamia in advance of himself. However, the Persian troops at Edessa did not 
accept Shiruya, while the Jews — due to their hatred of Christians — aided the Persians 
and did not receive Theodorus at Edessa. [Theodorus] fought and defeated the Persians 
and then took the city. Now it happened that one Jew had descended the wall and went 
to Heraclius at Telia (T'ilmo'z). [Theodorus] took the city and killed many Jews there. 
[The Jew who had gone to Heraclius] brought an order not to kill the Jews, for up to his 
arrival many of them had been slain. Now Heraclius went to Theodosiopolis (Erzerum) 
where he weakened the Armenians [doctrinally] through the ignorance of their 
patriarch, Ezr. But he was not able to turn everyone to his views, since [the 
anti-Chalcedonian Armenians] looked to God Who remembered the sweat of the martyr 
Gregory. 

Then Heraclius arrived at Edessa. An enormous multitude of clerics, and monks from the 
monasteries on the mountain of Edessa came out to meet him. Their number is said to 
have been 90,000. Heraclius was astounded at the crowd and bowed down before them. 
But when he learned that they did not accept the Council of Chalcedon, he said: "It is not 
worthy [g298] to reject the prayers of such a multitude over the Council of Chalcedon." 
On the feast of Christmas he entered the Orthodox church of Saint Sophia and greatly 
respected the clergy with gifts. Now when it was time for communion, [Heraclius] 
stepped forward to receive communion. At this point the archbishop Isaiah (Esayi) 



stopped him and said: "First curse the Council of Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo." The 
emperor was greatly angered by these words. He took that church away from the 
Orthodox and gave it to the Chalcedonians. 

[Heraclius] then journeyed to Manbij (Hierapolis/Bambyce). Here the patriarch 
Athanasius came forth to greet him together with twelve bishops who had originally 
come from Antioch and had remained. The bishops' names are as follows: T'uma of 
Tedmor (T'rmur), Basil of Emesa (Hems/Hama), Sargis of Aris, John of Cyrrhus 
(Kuris), T'uma of Manbij, Daniel of Harran, Isaiah of Edessa who had come to the 
patriarch in advance of the emperor's arrival; Severus of Qeneshirin (Ke"nshroy), 
Athanasius of Arabissus, Cosmas from the city of Epiphania in Cilicia, and Severus of 
Samosata (Samatia). Now Isaiah of Edessa had gone to Antioch while [Heraclius] was 
at Manbij. [The Monophysite clerics of Manbij] then went before the emperor and told 
him: "Our beloved emperor, do not glorify the Persians' [doctrine, (Nestorianism)] , 
and do not dismiss the truth so quickly. " The emperor received them and then they held 
discussions for twelve days. The emperor requested a written statement of their faith, and 
they presented him with the Orthodox formulation. [Heraclius] praised it and thanked 
God, saying: "This is the true confession [g299]. It curses the Council of Chalcedon and 
the Tome of Leo. We find no heresy in your doctrine, however we shall retain our own." 
His court bishop opposed this, and the emperor commanded that his nose be cut off. 
And then the patriarch [Athanasius] was released with great honor. 

[123] After some days Heraclius went to Antioch. The Chalcedonians and the princes 
assembled and gave him this advice and counsel: The princes and clerics of the city 
conferred with each other and with men from the royal court and told the emperor: 
"Unless you visibly fight against that heresy [of Monophysitism] which both the Greeks 
and the Romans loathe, your reign will not be a long one, and God will be dissatisfied 
with you. He will not let you overturn the efforts of so many men [who had supported 
Chalcedonian doctrine]. The deluded emperor, who cared more for human comforts 
than for the glory of God, issued an order that "No one should appear in my presence 
who does not hold the Chalcedonian doctrine. Moreover, let there be no trial for those 
who kill, rob and persecute [the Monophysites]. And let them not dare to enter the 
Church cathedral. / will now convert Greater Armenia, and then who will dare to resist 
me?" 

They assembled in Theodosiopolis (Erzerum) and [Heraclius] turned many Armenians to 
his heresy through the agency of the greedy [Armenian kat'oghikos] Ezr, whom he had 
bribed [g300]. However, the Eastern monastics and the wise bishops did not submit to 
him and removed the title of kat'oghikos from him, and many lands kept their Orthodoxy 
unshaken. [This situation continued] until the true [Orthodox] ended this evil heresy by 
means of that miracle-working wise man of God, Yovhanne's Odznets'i [kat'oghikos, 



717-728 ]. This was 84 years after Ezr had ignorantly accepted [Chalcedonianism]. 
Yovhanne's Odznets'i, kat'oghikos of Greater Armenia, adorned the Church with 
splendid arrangements through the prayers of Saint Gregory the Illuminator of Armenia 
and his blessed sons [g301]. 

Shiruya, king of the Persians, died after reigning for nine months. Then his son Artashir 
[IE, 628-629] ruled for two years. And then Shahrvaraz killed him and ruled, keeping 
friendship with Heraclius. However, Kardarigan also had some partisans and tore the 
Persian monarchy apart. Heraclius aided Xorean (Shahrvaraz) and Kardarigan was 
killed. Xorean ruled for a year, and he too was slain [g302]. Khosrov's daughter Boran 
(Param) ruled for a few days and then died. Then her sister Zarmanduxt ruled. Following 
her there ruled Shahrori, Daburan Khosrov, Peroz, Zruanduxt, Ormazd — all relatives of 
the Persian king and all of them dying within two years. 

[124] In the meantime Heraclius added to his wickedness by marrying his brother's 
daughter, Martina, in his old age. She gave birth to a son of impiety named Heracleonas. 

Muhammad, after ruling over many lands for seven years, died. Muhammad tyrannized 
over many districts preaching a religion according to his own wishes, and establishing 
laws as he willed. Then rule of the kingdom was taken by Abu Bakr for two years and 
five [or, seven] months. 

After Abu Bakr, 'Umar ruled. He sent many captives to Arabia [g303]. He took Basra 
from a Syrian prince, and destroyed numerous cities. ['Umar] sent a large army to Persia 
and found them in turmoil since some supported Yazdgird [III, 632-651] as king and 
others supported Ormazd. Eventually Ormazd was slain and Yazdgird reigned. The Arab 
(Tachik) army, after taking a great deal of booty and prisoners, turned back. On the way 
home they struck at the Byzantine army and its general Sargis. And they strengthened 
against both Byzantium and Persia, and became a great power. 

Heraclius sent his brother Theodoricus against the Arabs. The latter came to the Antioch 
country, to the village called Ko'sit. Now it happened that there was a stylite named 
Simeon dwelling there who belonged to the Chalcedonian sect. Theodoricus and his 
princes paid him a visit. [Simeon] said: "Vow to me that when you return triumphantly, 
you will eliminate those who do not accept the Council of Chalcedon, and I will believe 
that God will grant you the victory." They so vowed to him, and added: "Indeed, we 
have such an order from the emperor, to ruin and kill such people." Now one of the 
princes who was very Orthodox became greatly saddened at this, since he realized that 
the wrath of God was about to descend on them. Indeed, [Theodoricus' troops] set off 
full of swagger and when the wrath of God struck them only a few managed to flee. The 
remainder fell to the Arabs' swords [g304]. [The Arabs] also seized all their [war] 



materiel. The emperor's brother escaped by a hairsbreadth and, out of shame, did not 
dare to meet anyone's eye. Once again Heraclius massed troops and put them under a 
military commander named Sklaros. He also brought out Xor'ean's son and sent him 
against the Arabs with 70,000 troops. They went and fought by the river of Damascus, 
and the Byzantines were defeated. They lost 40,000 cavalry. Xorean's son managed to go 
to 'Umar in Hems and said that if he would entrust him with troops, he would go and 
conquer Persia for him. But it happened that the Persian king Khosrov's daughters were 
there among the captives and said [to 'Umar]: "This man is the son of a rebel. He will go 
and destroy your troops and reign in opposition to you. Do not trust him." Umar 
believed them and sent and had him killed, crucified on a cross. After this he took 
Damascus [g305] and its surrounding districts and cities and resided there. And he 
became extremely powerful. 

[125] In that period the Arab general Sad arose from Yathrib and pitched his camp over 
the city of K'ubar. Yazdgird, king of Persia, heard about this and arrived and encamped 
opposite him on the Euphrates. In the fierce battle which ensued, the Arabs conquered 
the Persians and chased them as far as Ctesiphon. Now the Persians were many in 
number and armed, while the Arabs were few and unarmed. Indeed, it happened that 
there was one Persian prince who was heavily armed who went fleeing before a naked 
and unsaddled Arab horseman. Many times [the Iranian] turned around and shot arrows 
[aiming] at the [Arab's] heart, but none of them hit the target. Now as he went along the 
prince espied a hoe lying in the road. As a test, he fired at the hoe, but the arrow missed. 
Then he realized that it was God [Who was responsible] and he fell from his horse, was 
killed and robbed by the naked Arab. And some say that the Arab told them: "There was 
a piece of horseshoe [g306] in my breast pocket, and the arrows struck that ten times and 
did me no harm." 

In this time the feast of the martyr Simeon took place, and the celebrants assembled 
there. The Arabs learned about this and went and massacred them. Many [Christians] 
were confounded and asked: "Why did God betray us?" But they were unaware that they 
had broken the rules established by the ancient celebrants who prepared for the day by 
fasting and with tears of faith. Today, however, it was done with eating and drunkenness, 
with other sinful carryings on, which displease God and lead to sin and personal ruin.." 

The [the Iranian king] Yazdgird arrived at the Tigris River. The Arabs also went there. 
Now when the Persians saw their multitude, they destroyed the bridge. Seeing this, the 
Arabs cried: "Come, let us cross over. For God Who aided us on dry land will aid us in 
the water." And they crossed without any casualties. They struck the Persians and put 
them to flight. Yazdgird was to go against the Arabs four times, and was defeated each 
time. At that point he realized that his destruction was upon him. He fled to the Sistan 
(Sigistan) country of Maragan, which borders on the Turks, called Sagastan. He hid 



there for five years. Then he was killed [g307] by the Turks. And in such fashion was the 
Sasanian Persian kingdom ended. It had lasted for 418 years. The Arabs took over the 
rule of Persia. 

Now while the Arabs were growing stronger, Heraclius started robbing the Christians in 
the area from Antioch to Constantinople, saying: "Better we have [the loot] than the 
Arabs." 

[126] Umar then went to Egypt. Bishop Cyrus (Kawra) came before him promising to 
give him 2,000 dahekans annually if he would not enter Egypt. Umar agreed to this, and 
so he turned back. Heraclius was furious at this, removed Cyrus from the episcopacy, 
exiled him, and sent a military commander — an ostikan (prefect) of Armenian nationality 
named Manuel — to hold the country. When the [Arab] tax-collectors came to collect the 
tax, [Manuel] said: "I am not Cyrus, who would give you gold. He had a pilon, what I 
have is a sword." When 'Umar heard about this he took the Arab forces to Egypt and 
captured it. Then 'Umar went to Jerusalem. Sophronius, the bishop of Jerusalem, came 
before him. When he saw that 'Umar [g308] was wearing old clothing, a worn fur, and a 
worn and coarse sheepskin, he brought him costly clothes and beseeched him to put 
them on. But ['Umar] replied: "God put into my hands the entire Persian treasury at 
Ctesiphon, as well as the [treasuries] of the Byzantines, Damascenes, and Egyptians and 
many others, and still I did not change these clothes of my poverty so that I would not 
become proud and forget myself." And so saying, he did accept [the clothes] from him. 
['Umar] honored the bishop and gave authority over that land to him. 

The bishop requested that the Jews be removed from Jerusalem and ['Umar] gave him an 
edict to that effect. ['Umar] also ordered that a mosque be built on the site of the Temple. 
Then he went to Syria. There Heraclius' military commander in Edessa, John 
(Yovhanne's), went to him at Qeneshirin and gave him 100,000 dahekans, the taxes for 
one year, to prevent him from invading eastern Mesopotamia. Now when Heraclius 
heard about this he was furious and ordered that John be put into fetters. For God, Who 
had willed the loss of the land from [Heraclius], gave him over to bitter and imperious 
ideas. This was the reason that when the next year arrived [g309], the Arabs came and 
entered Mesopotamia, took and ruled it. When he went to Edessa, the clergy 
affectionately came out to meet him. In their wisdom they removed the Byzantine 
military which was there. [The Byzantine troops] departed peacefully. Thus the Arabs 
came to rule over Mesopotamia. But [the cities of] T'lmo'z and Dara did not submit 
peacefully and were taken by force, and the troops in them were broken. And in that 
year [the Muslims] put a head tax on all the Christians under their rule. 

In that year Heraclius died [A.D. 641], having reigned for thirty years and five months. 
His son, Constantine, then ruled for four months. Now Heraclius had three sons: 



Constantine, Heracleonas, and the youngest, Heracles. Heraclius' wife, Martina, killed 
Constantine with poison and enthroned her own son, the young Heracleonas. But the 
nobles were displeased with this and killed Heracleonas, and then enthroned 
Constantine's son, Constans, grandson of Heraclius. 

'Umar [634-644], after his triumph over the Persians [g310] and the Byzantines, was 
slain by one of his servants. [This man] had beseeched ['Umar] for a decision [on some 
matter] on which ['Umar] had demurred. And so, one day when 'Umar was at prayer, 
[this servant] killed him with a dagger. ['Umar] died after reigning for 12 years. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

[127] Following this, 'Uthman took power. Then they bestowed the dignity [of caliph] 
on 'Uthman [A.D. 644-656]. He was a greedy and cruel person who went beyond all his 
predecessors in this respect. The princes thought to kill him. They warned him to stay in 
line. 'Uthman learned about this and begged them to forgive him, [promising to] remain 
within the bounds set by his predecessors. And they left him alone. They designated 
Mu'awiya as military commander. Mu'awiya came with his troops to Caesarea Stratonean 
[Caesarea Palestina], taking it and destroying the Byzantines there, and putting it under 
taxation. From there he proceeded to Amasia. After taking much booty, he turned to 
Cilicia and subjugated it. Then in the fifth year of Constantinianus, he looted the 
country and departed. Emperor Constans [II, 641-668] massed troops, dividing them into 
two parts. One he entrusted to an Armenian named David [Sahar'uni] who chased the 
Hagarenes out of Cappadocia, and the other [g311] to Valentinianus (Vaghin). [The 
latter] went via Cilicia and was slain by the Arabs who had come to subdue Cilicia. They 
appeared before him and wasted the Byzantines, leaving a few to flee. David went to the 
upper lands and the troops who were with him were in no way less active in robbing the 
Christians, taking gold, silver, and [precious] clothing. They [even] disgraced women in 
front of their men. Someone went to David and said: "Why do you let your troops work 
such evil? What answer will you give before God?" [David] became furious with the 
Byzantine [troops], saying: "Here is the reason for the ruination of the Christians for 
there is nothing to differentiate our deeds and lewdness from those of the unbelievers." 
He took [the troops] and returned to Constantinople not wanting to lead such troops. 

In that period the patrician Grigor rebelled in Africa. The Arabs suddenly entered Africa, 
and took and enslaved it. Grigor, having submitted [g312], went to Constantinople. 

In the same period, at Mu'awiya's order, 1,700 ships assembled in Egypt. He took them 
and went to the island of Cyprus where he demanded taxes from them in exchange for 
which he would spare them. But [the people] had fortified themselves in their cities and 
did not want to give [taxes]. Those fortified cities of theirs became their cemetaries. The 
sword of Hagar fell upon them and a very great multitude were killed. Then [Mu'awiya] 
went to the city of Constantia, which was the capital of the island, full of people and 
treasure. He besieged and then destroyed the city, filling it with blood and thoroughly 
looting it. He also committed abominations in their cathedral church, which had been 



built by Saint Epiphanius, because they did not hold to the Orthodox faith practised by 
Epiphanius or to the canons he established or to his works. After filling up with an 
incredibly large amount of booty, the Hagarene troops (or, Mu'awiya) gave a portion of 
it to those who had come from Egypt, and then sent them back to their own country. 

[128] In these times the blessed patriarch of the Orthodox Syrians, Athanasius, wrote to 
the blessed kat'oghikos of the Armenians, K'ristap'or, that he should concern himself 
with the Persian areas and the Syrian Christians to warn them [g313] against the heresy 
of Nestorius and the Chalcedonians. 

"My lord and father K'ristap'or, rejoice in the Lord. We have heard that the 
[doctrinal] carelessness ofEzr did not please your holiness, and so we have 
glorified Christ God for His grace upon you. For we have found," he said, "a 
letter of the blessed Marutha, your compatriot, describing how, through the 
grace of God, your Armenian people survived the corrupter Barsauma. Here is 
how this is related in the letter. Barsauma was one of Nestorius' students and 
he was at Nisibis [or, he was at Edessa]. When the Council of Ephesus was 
convened, during the reign of Theodosius, Barsauma did not attend the 
meeting, saying instead: 'I am under the authority of Kat'oghikos Pawi whom 
the Armenians ordained in the land of the Persians. Barsauma told them: If he 
attends, I will too. " [And so] they sent two monks from Ephesus to Persia 
requesting [the presence] of Pawi, Barsauma, and other bishops who were 
under him. Pawi who was impotent did not attend. Instead, wrote a letter with 
the correct confession of faith and sent it to the Council at Ephesus in the 
hands of two monks [g314]. In the letter he also said: 'Do not blame us for not 
attending, for we are under the authority of impious folk and evil masters and 
we are afraid that it might become a cause of problems for us, and that the 
sword which killed our fathers will be turned on us and on our flock as well. 
Whatever you designate as Orthodox we will accept.' The letter carriers 
returned to the wolf Barsauma in Nisibis. When he saw the letter he took it, 
and turned them back, saying: 'I will deliver this letter. You should now return 
so that there is no thought that the Romans are engaged in espionage.' In their 
naivete they went home, and the kat'oghikos did not blame them. Rather, he 
told them: 'You did well to heed what our brother said.' Meanwhile, 
[Barsauma] selected two of his own people, disguised them, and sent them 
on with the letter, as a substitute for attending. 

[129] When that wily snake Barsauma learned that Nestorius had been 
anathematized, he became angry and went to the Persian king. [Barsauma] said 
to him: 'There was a man [Nestorius] in Constantinople who was a leader of 



the Church. He wanted to have lasting peace with the Persians, and to bring 
the Church closer in faith to the Persians and to prevent the Byzantines from 
making raids on Persia. For this reason they slandered him before the emperor 
and sent him into exile and the doctrines he professed were condemned. This 
kat'oghikos [Pawi] is a spy among you for the Armenians and the Byzantines. 
Behold, here is the letter in which you are described as impious and 
bloodthirsty.' The king believed him. [Barsauma] then requested [g315] of 
him: 'Give me authority over all the Christians under your sway so that I may 
confirm [in Iran] the faith of Persia's friend, Nestorius. I will also fill your 
treasury [with the wealth] of those who do not accept [Nestorianism].' [The 
Iranian shah] gave him that authority and as many troops as he wanted. Then 
[Barsauma] said: 'Let me have that kat'oghikos [Pawi].' And [the shah] gave 
him an edict to do as he wanted. [Barsauma] went to the kat'oghikos and said 
to him: 'Profess [the doctrines of] Nestorius.' He replied: 'I have heard that 
Nestorius has been anathematized, and may he be anathematized!' Then 
[Barsauma] became enraged and cut out his tongue and sent it to the king 
claiming that he had cursed him. The king heard about his and was saddened. 
He summoned Barsauma and asked: 'Why did you do that?' [Barsauma] 
replied: 'Because he cursed you.' The king said: 'If that's the case, go and 
behead him as well' And he went and decapitated him. 

[Barsauma] next went to Baghdad and made them submit to Nestorianism, and 
from there he continued on to Nineveh. There he seized the archbishop 
Martiros along with twelve bishops and ninety priests and said to them: '[I ask 
nothing of you but this:] either give me communion or accept communion 
from me.' They responded: 'We do not give the sacrament to a dog, nor do we 
accept it from a dog.' Enraged, [Barsauma] killed the priests and took the 
bishops to Nisibis. There he incarcerated them in the home of a Jew. 
Subsequently he had them killed by lapidation by his troops [g3 1 6] and had 
their bodies suspended on poles. A sign of heavenly glory appeared above 
them, and the Jew became a believer and was baptized. [Barsauma] then arose 
and wanted to enter Armenia. When the Armenians heard about this, they 
went and chased him away and threatened that if he repeated his attempt, they 
would burn him and his troops with fire. Then Barsauma wrote to the king in 
Persia, saying: 'The Armenians have rebelled against you.' 

[130] The Persian king sent to the military commander in Armenia saying that 
it was the order of their king to come to Persia, even if the [Armenian] king 
was unwilling. Similarly he wrote to the king and to the kat'oghikos [ordering 
them] to come to Persia and answer questions regarding their faith. The king 
of the Armenians replied, saying: "We are not obliged to come and answer 



your questions regarding our faith. However, should you go against the 
barbarians, we shall indeed come with our priests and our crosses [to 
participate in the fighting]. Such was the oath you and we swore to uphold 
which stated: when the Armenians come to us to go and fight against our 
enemies, let them come with their crosses and priests, [and practise] the 
traditional faith of their fathers . If you do not want to abide by your 
agreement, we also will not honor it.' And should that Barsauma come to us, 
he and his troops will not return to you. Then the king was silent [g3 17]. 

And in such a fashion the sword of satan and the second deluge of the world 
did not enter Armenia, rather it turned upon the Syrians because of our many 
sins. [Barsauma] held three meetings as opposed to the three holy 
Councils — in Ctesiphon (Katizbon), Gatr (Beth Hadri), and Grawmia (? 
Seleucia) — and wrote [a document] defining the canons of Nestorius' impious 
[beliefs]. Those who did not accept this were robbed, persecuted, and 
mercilessly slain, or, more accurately, they were martyred, with more radiant 
haloes than those who were killed by the idol-worshippers. For, as we have 
heard, he killed [a total of] 7,800 bishops, priests, and deacons of the Church, 
and as for the laity, there is no knowing their toll. We beseech your holiness to 
go as a good physician where there is sickness, and to fulfill the words of the 
Apostle that 'Whoever among you is able should raise up the weakest of the 
weak', so that the grain of holiness which was harvested not be completely 
denied to the multitude. Due to numerous dangers besetting me, I am unable 
to tend to the remaining Orthodox in Persia and the Nineveh area, which is 
under the authority of my see ofAntioch, and so am entrusting them to your 
holiness' sympathetic care to send preachers and doctors to those places 
especially where the sick are to be found. Ordain shepherds for them as is 
fitting and provide brotherly aid to them] . This is our plea to you. We greet 
all of our co-adjutors in Jesus Christ our God, forever. " 

Now we shall return to where we left off in our previous narration. In the year 965 of 
the Syrian Era [A.D. 654], Cyprus was ruined again by the Arabs, for they had heard 
that the inhabitants had assembled there once more [g318]. 

[131] Abu'l Hawar (Blghur), military commander of the Arabs, went there, took it, and 
tore the place apart, not leaving any valuables untouched. However, he did spare a few 
people who pledged an oath to him. He placed under taxation those who had remained 
from Mu'awiya as well as others who had gathered there, and then departed. 
Meanwhile Mu'awiya went to the island of Rhodes which he took and ruined. Thence he 
went to Crete which he quickly captured, and he also took the very well fortified islands 
of Aradus and Cos. He had the fortifications pulled down. On the island of Rhodes he 



saw the bronze statue of a man which had been considered one of the seven wonders of 
the world. He toppled it — not without difficulty — using ropes, and found that it 
measured 105 (or, 107) feet in height. He lit a fire under it and melted its attachments, 
then cut it up. It made 3000 loads [of bronze]. A Jew from Hems (Emesa) bought it and 
took it back to his home. 

In this period there was a severe famine which led to cannibalism and other loathesome 
things. In Germanica, which is Marash, there was an imposter monk, a villain named 
Eghishe' who dwelled in a cave. The famine [g3 19] did not cause him to quit his impiety; 
rather, he stole children and ate fifty-one o/them. Then he went and consoled the 
children's parents for the loss of their children, since they believed that he was a monk. 
After eating fifty-one of them, he was discovered and was hanged. He was punished in 
this world and will eternally suffer the punishment he deserves. In this same period a 
fierce wind blew from the north demolishing many churches, destroying many fortresses 
and cities, and uprooting forests. 

In the days of Constantine's son Heraclius there appeared in Constantinople a man 
named Maximus who professed a heresy. He claimed that Christ had two wills and two 
operations. Even though this was not accepted, in Rome it was not denounced. In the 
days of Constans' grandson Heraclius, in Armenian Comana, a count by the name of 
Theodorus asked the Pope of Rome, who was named Agatho, to hold an inquiry about 
this matter since some folk were whispering about two natures and two wills. Agatho 
convened an assembly [g320] and confirmed Maximus' confession, one hundred 
twenty-five years after the Council of Chalcedon. For they said that [Christ's] nature with 
it's two parts also required two separate wills and operations. We say that they needed yet 
another person to fulfill the measure of their wickedness, and so that they would not be 
distant from Nestorius. 

[132] In the year 966 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 655], which is 93 of the Armenian Era 
[A.D. 644], 37 of the Arab tyranny [A.H. 37 = 659], the 10th year of Constans, and the 
9th year of 'Uthman, the military commander Mu'awiya ordered that an enormous fleet 
of ships be assembled at Tripoli to sail to Constantinople. Among the overseers were two 
soldiers who were sons of believers. They removed all the Frank slaves with them, killed 
the other troops, and set fire to all the ships. They themselves who were ofFrankish 
nationality then boarded a boat and headed for Rome. When Mu'awiya learned about 
this he was furious, and had more ships than before readied. He organized the troops 
and entrusted them to the command of Abu'l Hawar (Blghur) to go to Constantinople. 
When Emperor Constans [II] heard about this, he assembled as many troops and ships 
as he could came to Acre (Aka) in Phoenicia [to Mt. Phoenix in Lycia] [g321] by land 
and by sea. His brother Theodosius came by sea with a multitude of ships. As soon as 
the Hagarenes learned about this, they brought their ships against them. On the evening 



before the battle, Emperor Constans awoke from sleep and summoned an interpreter of 
dreams and told him: "In a dream I saw myself in Thessalonika at a feast" The 
interpreter of dreams replied: "Would that you had not slept and not had such a dream, 
for Thessalonika' signifies victory for the other side." The emperor scorned his words 
and became angry, and the man was silent. The next day, an enormous battle took place 
at sea, and intensified until the air was filled with dust, as though the fighting were on 
land. Constans was defeated and barely escaped with a few men. The number slain who 
were found by the shore was 23,000 men. The Hagarenes wanted to go on to 
Constantinople, but at the emperor's command, prince Ptolemy came to Mu'awiya and 
agreed to pay taxes if he would not go to Constantinople. He was lying about it, 
however. The Hagarenes therefore departed for the country of Syria. Mu 'awiya agreed 
and withdrew. 

But Constans broke his oath, and did not send [the tribute] he had promised. Therefore 
the Hagarenes went and raided Syria. Ptolemy then brought taxes for three years and 
his son Grigor as a hostage, and then left, and thereby removed them from the country. 

Now Constans, fearing for his reign [g322], slew his own brother, Theodosius, and 
became so hated by everyone {by the troops) that he went off to Rome. They called him 
back from Rome to Constantinople. Leaving Rome he came to Syracuse, a place he 
liked. From there he summoned his sons Constantine, Tiberius, and Heraclius. However 
the troops would not let them go. Rather, they designated them Caesars and kept them in 
Constantinople. As for the emperor, he did not dare to quit Syracuse, for he had heard 
that they were calling him a second Cain, for murdering his brother. 

[133] In these days the Arab caliph 'Uthman was killed in the city of Yathreb because of 
his foul deeds, and the rule was split in two [centered at] Babylon and Egypt. 
Muhammed's son-in-law, All, ruled in Babylon and Syria [656-661], while Mu'awiya 
ruled in Egypt and in the other lands that he himself had conquered. And they warred 
with each other once and then twice and many were killed on both sides. Subsequently, 
one of Mu'awiya' s servants went and treacherously killed 'Ali, and then everyone 
submitted to Mu'awiya. Mu'awiya transferred the [seat of the] kingdom from Yathreb to 
Damascus and ruled for twenty years [661-680]. After seven years of peace Mu'awiya 
went and ruined [the districts of] Galatia, Asia, and Bithynia. And all the countries were 
afraid of him. 

In this same period the stratelate Andre killed [Emperor] Constans at Sirmium [Syracuse 
in Sicily] while he was bathing. [Constans] had shut his eyes while his head was being 
lathered with soap, and at that moment [Andre] stabbed him with a dagger and he died 
[g323]. They enthroned a patrician of Armenian nationality named Mzhezhius [Gnuni], 
who was a pious man. However, Constans' son Constantine [Constantine IV, Pogonatus 



(668-685)] gathered a force, killed Mzhezhius, and ruled himself along with his brothers. 

At the start of their reign some 80,000 souls were enslaved by the Arabs in Africa. The 
Arabs then went to Lebanon where they were defeated by the Byzantines and lost 
30,000 troops. This was their first defeat. 

In this year a man from Baalbek named Callinicus, who was of Syrian nationality, was 
the first to discover Greek fire (naptha) and was able to burn ships on the sea that were 
filled with Arabs. In this same period a rainbow appeared in the sky after the sun had set 
and completely covered it for an entire night. And the entire world was terrified. 

In the ninth year of Constantine (or, in the 309th year of Constantine [I]), some 
villainous troops arose from the Byzantines, went and dwelled at Mt. Lebanon, and were 
declared rebels. The Syrians called them Chur'chans. They seized all the territory [g324] 
from Mt. Lebanon to Black Mountain. (Perhaps it is for this reason the 
Iberians/Georgians are called Chur'chans by the Franks, since they had rebelled from 
service to the Armenians and from religious unity with them). The Arabs arose and 
wiped out these rebels. 

[134] In this year Mzhezhius' son, John (Yovhanne's), pursued Constantine for seven 
months because of his father's murder. But then he himself was slain. Constantine 
became arrogant with his victory, scorned his two brothers, and deposed them from 
ruling. Then Prince Leo who was furious, since the brothers were his friends, said to 
him: "I will not allow you to rule alone." Through bribes, [Constantine] swayed the 
troops and had Leo's tongue, hands, and feet cut off. He himself had a son named 
Justinian. 

Now after Mu'awiya his son, Yazid [I, 680-683], ruled the Arabs for three years and six 
months (or, for four years), and then died. Then Mukhtar rebelled in Babylon. He was a 
false and dishonest man who claimed that he was a seer and a prophet. Meanwhile, 
Abdullah ruled in Yathreb, and in Damascus [g325] people thought to enthrone Yazid's 
son. Consequently, there was warfare. Then it happened that an old man from Yathreb 
went among them and pleaded for peace. He advised them to write the three 
[candidates'] names on three arrows. One of the names was his own. Then the arrows 
were released, and a lad was to select one arrow. [Whichever candidate's name] was on 
that arrow [that man] would rule. The lot fell to [the old man] himself [Marwan I, 
684-685]. He ruled, but died after one year. Once again they were divided. Then 
Marwan's son 'Abd al-Malik (Abdullah) ruled [685-705]. In this year Constantine died 
and his son Justinian ruled [Justinian II Rhinometus, 685-695, 705-711]. Now because 
'Abd al-Malik was troubled by rebels at this time, he made peace with Justinian for ten 
years, and promised to give him yearly 1,000 dahekans, a horse, and a servant. Cyprus 



was to pay taxes both to the Arabs and to the Byzantines. The Armenians helped the 
Byzantines. For a second time Lebanon became the dwelling place of rebels, this time 
12,000 of them, cavalry. The Romans removed them and brought them to Rome 
[g326]. 

In these times lived the blessed vardapet Jacob of Edessa [c. 640-708], a gracious and 
scholarly man, who was from the district of Antioch. He learned the language and letters 
of Greek and Hebrew, for [learning] the latter [language, Hebrew,] going among the 
Jews and covertly translating their secrets from Hebrew into Syriac. He did this by 
pretending to be Jewish. He wrote interpretations of many writings, became bishop of 
Edessa, and ended his life in the Kessoun country in the monastery called Saint 
Jacob/James after his own name. 

Abd al-Malik subdued the rebels. In that period Justinian conquered Cyprus, and there 
was discord between the Persians [Arabs] and the Byzantines. Abd al-Malik sent 
Muhammad (Mehmet), emir of Jazira, to the Caesarea area. The Byzantines, with 
mercenaries from the Slavs, arrived to battle against Mehmet. The Byzantines [g327] 
were defeated, while the Slavs requested an oath and came under Arab rule. There were 
some seven thousand of them, cavalry, which the Arabs settled in Antioch and Cyrrhus, 
giving them women and goods. 

[135] In 1006 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 695], the Byzantines came to the Antioch country 
to battle the Arabs. Many of them died, while the rest fled; however more fell from the 
Byzantine side, and thus the Byzantines were conquered. The number of those slain 
from both sides was put at 400,000. This battle occurred on April 3rd, and the site was 
Pushirik' (? Poussen). To this day one may see their bones strewn across the fields. 

In the year 75 of their calendar [A.H. 75 = A.D. 696/97] the Arabs removed images 
from their dirhems and dahekans, and minted coins which lacked pictures and had only 
writing on them. This was done due to their hatred of image- worship. In this period 
Justinian became very severe and killed many princes and soldiers. They seized this 
wicked man [Emperor Justinian II], cut off his nose, threw him into prison, and 
enthroned a certain man named Leo [Leontius, 695-698]. Now the general Apsimar 
(Ep'imros) who was in Cilicia, came and [g328] removed Leo and himself ruled [Tiberius 
IE, Apsimar 698-705]. He subdued the Slavs and then went against the Arabs at 
Samosata, killed 5,000 of them, took booty, and returned. 

At that time 'Abd al-Malik appointed two military commanders, Muhammad and Hajjaj, 
godless men who were merciless and exercised their authority mercilessly. The latter 
treacherously assembled the Armenian nobility at Naxjawan and tried to turn them to his 
religion. When they refused, he placed them in a large church and set it on fire, burning 



them to death. In their struggle and triumph they shared the martyr's crown with the 
blessed Ananians. May Christ God through their prayers look with compassion on their 
nation and Church. 

In this period there was a wise and pious man of Edessa named Athanasius, son of 
Goumaye. He was praised before 'Abd al-Malik. They took him to 'Abd al-Malik who 
exalted him and placed him in his home as administrator of the house and all its 
belongings. On a yearly basis he was given 60,000 dahekans and in addition he received 
a dahekan from each soldier. [Athanasius] effected many easements for Orthodox 
Christians. In Edessa he constructed two churches. One was named for the Mother of 
God [g329] and the other for Saint Theodorus whose relics had been brought from 
Ewxayita, which is Ablastan and placed there. Between these two churches he built 
underground chapels where he concealed the Shroud/Napkin of Christ which he had 
bought from the Arabs for 50,000 dahekans. [And he built] a staircase by which people 
descended to it and then came up again. On its holy day, it was taken out and displayed 
to the people, until the time of the patriarch John. The latter secured it in an even deeper 
spot, putting it between two walls, in a place where no one would find it. [John] then 
wrote truly about the concealment, saying: "I have placed it where it would not be found, 
out of fear of the infidels." Let no one go hunting for it, since they will not find it. Now 
as to what Shroud it is that the Byzantines possess, I do not know. 

[136] In this period Abd al-Malik's son Maslama ruled as king in the Qeneshirin country 
which is Aleppo. In the 19th year of his reign, Abd al-Malik sent Maslama (Mslim) 
against Mopsuestia and took it [g330]. 

In the same year Justinian got out of prison, after ten years' confinement. He went to the 
king of the Khazars, the Qaqan (Khaqan/Khagan). The latter received him with the 
greatest joy and gave him his daughter in marriage. With support from the Bulghars, 
[Justinian] came to Constantinople. Apsimar fled. [Justinian] killed Leontius, destroyed 
many at court, exiled others, and generally emptied the court. He located 6,000 Arab 
captives, and freed them to go home in peace. Then he sent many troops to fetch his 
wife, but they drowned in the sea. When the Qaqan learned about this he was devastated, 
and sent [a messsage] blaming [Justinian], which said: "Fool, why did you send such a 
mass of troops for your wife. Did you think that I wanted to prevent [her from joining 
you]? Send just a few and take her." When Justinian heard this, he was very happy and 
[g33 1] sent and had his wife and son Tiberius brought to him. 

In 1015 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 704], which is 152 of the Armenian Era [A.D. 703], 
Maslama (Mslim) rebuilt Mopsuestia, expanding it with high and secure walls, and he 
placed troops there to resist the Byzantines. In the same year 'Abd al-Malik died and 
Walid ruled for nine years and five months [al-Walid I, 705-715]. It was in this period 



that Justinian persecuted the Armenian people within his realm (or, from his realm) by 
means of Philippicus. The Arabs received them happily (the Arabs request them and 
settled them) in Melitene and Mesopotamia. And there was a great strengthening of the 
Orthodox [Monophysites] in Syria against the Diophysites [Chalcedonians]. They built 
monasteries, retreats, and Armenian villages which exist to this day. 

The impious Muhammad had stirred up fierce persecution among the Arab faithful 
[Christian Arabs]. [Muslims] seized [g332] the [Arab Christian] leader and tortured him 
with various torments because of his faith until they killed him. His body was left there 
for thirty days, but it did not decay nor did birds or animals approach it and Muhammad 
was shamed. A very great number of Christians suffered martyrs' death for the name of 
Christ, but [Muhammad] killed them mercilessly. 

In this same period Maslama went to the Cappadocia country and 40,000 Byzantine 
cavalry were killed from Justinian's army, not to mention those who were taken prisoner. 
They captured the city of Tyana (To'na). Then Maslama, after taking Darand, came into 
Cilicia where he captured Djerdjoum and Podanta among many other cities. Henceforth 
there were Arab troops at Darand. Now Philippicus, who had grown powerful, killed 
Justinian and his son Tiberias and he himself ruled [Philippicus, Bardanes 711-713]. In 
these same days there was issued a decree by al-Walid that Christians should be taken 
into churches and killed if they did not apostasize their faith. A countless number of 
Christians died as a result of that order. Philippicus, who was versed in Scripture as well 
as in secular knowledge, scorned the [decisions of the] Sixth Council, and the heresy of 
Maximius, and tried to have them anathematized, but those who were seeped in that 
heresy did not allow it and [the emperor] failed because of the stubbornness and 
arrogance of his supporters. In this same period [g333] Maslama took Amasia as well as 
Antioch in Pisidia. 

[137] After he had reigned for two years, they blinded and exiled Philippicus. Then 
Anastasius [II, Artemius 713-715] ruled for two years. Al-Walid died and Sulaiman ruled 
for two years [715-717]. In the same year Maslama took the Galatian country and the 
fortresses in it. Anastasius sent troops to the West which rebelled and killed their 
commander. They enthroned Theodosius [III, 715-717] while Anastasius fled to Nicaea. 

Maslama went to the country of the Turks and returned with a great deal of booty. He 
went against [the district of] Asia where he captured Pergamum and Sardis, and took 
prisoners. Then Maslama waxed proud and thought to go to Constantinople. He 
assembled 200,000 cavalry and 5,000 fully armed ships. Taking along with him an 
additional 12,000 Bulghars, 6,000 camels and 6,000 mules laden with victuals, he had 
prepared for many years [of operations]. He appointed 'Umar as military commander and 
vowed to destroy Constantinople. In addition, there were 30,000 volunteer fighters 



(zehid) with him. He had two armies, one of which went by land and the other by sea. 
He sent this entire multitude in advance of himself, while he slowly came with 12, 000 
other troops. He came and besieged Nicaea, promising peace to those troops who 
crossed over to his side, nor did he harm anyone. Now Theodosius' general Leo heard 
about this and came to Maslama who vowed [g334] to him that should he take 
Constantinople he would make him emperor. [Leo] then entered Constantinople. The 
Arabs who passed through the districts and cities made peace with them. Then Caliph 
Sulaiman himself came after them with 12,000 encamped by Nicaea and besieged it. 
Now Emperor Theodosius had learned about Leo's duplicity, seized his family and put 
them in prison. Leo fled to Sulaiman. Taking 6,000 cavalry he descended on Amorium 
and swore a secret oath to the city that "I am falsely [or, as a ruse] circulating around 
with them [the Arabs]." [The city folk] went and brought his family and gave them to 
him. The emperor sent his family back to him, saying: "Do not blame the city and exact 
vengeance on it for your family. " Then [the troops] began to head toward 
Constantinople on two fronts. As they were advancing, troops arose from the city and 
went to Leo and submitted to him. And they sent Theodosius' son to him [as a hostage] . 
When Theodosius heard about this, he cut his hair and became a monk. 

[138] [Leo] told the Arab troops with him: "Stay here. I will enter the city [alone] and 
do your bidding. Then Leo ruled as emperor [Leo III, the Isaurian, 717-740]. Now when 
Sulaiman was apprised of this, he rejoiced greatly — thinking that [Leo] would give the 
city [g335] into his hands. But [Leo] began to deceive him with words, and fortified the 
city. When Maslama realized that [Leo] had tricked him, he crossed to the other side, his 
troops going ahead of him. He came following behind with 4,000 troops. But then the 
Bulghar mercenaries fell upon them. Maslama himself escaped. He went and joined the 
other troops and the Arab forces in the western portion of the city, opposite the Golden 
Gate where warfare took place. Now there were some 30,000 troops in the sea guarding 
the ships and another 20,000 guarding the Bulghar side, and they fought for the city on 
land and on sea. Then the Bulghars arose and destroyed many of the Arabs. The Arabs 
were terrified because winter was approaching and they were seized with fear from the 
sea, from the Bulghars, and from the city itself. Famine came upon the Arabs, who were 
eating trash and drinking their own urine. While these disasters were unfolding, 
Sulaiman, caliph of the Arabs, died and 'Umar [II, 717-720] took over the caliphate. He 
sent to Maslama for him to leave the city and return. [Maslama] thus returned with few 
troops, while others were destroyed by the famine. Thereafter 'Umar began to persecute 
Christians in vengeance, as though [g336] the defeat had been their fault for the prayers 
they had made in their churches, and he tried to turn them to his own faith. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



[139] In this period a man by the name of Severus, an Assyrian, who used magic began 
to preach among the Jews: "I am the Christos. Gather your belongings so that I may 
prepare an army and go and rule as king in Jerusalem." And they believed in him and 
gathered up much treasure. When 'Umar learned about this he summoned him, seized 
the accumulated treasure, and then let him go. As a result of this, 'Umar made it law that 
the testimony of Christians should not be admitted, nor should Christians ride on saddled 
animals. And should an Arab [Muslim] kill a Christian he would not die as a result, but 
could pay a blood price of 1,000 [or, 5,000] drams. ['Umar] also made the clerics free 
from taxation so that they not give all their belongings to the court. Moreover, he made it 
law that Arabs should not drink wine. 

When ['Umar II] died, Yazid [II, 720-724] ruled for four years. Now it happened that a 
man who also was named Yazid rebelled against him in Her. He attracted many 
followers. But Caliph Yazid sent and had him killed. In this period many lands became 
depopulated because of famine which resulted from the coming of locusts. Now Yazid 
sent [orders] throughout all the lands that images should be obliterated in the churches, 
[removed] from clothing, books, monuments, and all [other] goods [g337]. Leo, 
emperor of the Byzantines, similarly effaced [images] from the Byzantine churches. 
There was dissatisfaction with him from many folk who were greatly displeased. He 
stirred up persecution against all the races of humanity who did not accept his profession 
[of the faith]. Many Jews were baptized and became Christians, some were killed, while 
others fled. Then Yazid died, and Hisham [724-743] ruled for 19 years. He was a wicked 
and greedy man, an oppressor and tax gouger who made the country long for death. He 
dug a canal above Callinicos which took water from the Euphrates and irrigated the 
plains. He went to Neocaesarea on the Gayl [Wolf] River and captured it, and in the 
same year [the Arabs] took the impregnable fortress called Shize' in the Cilicia country. 

In this period Severus was the patriarch of the Syrians at Antioch and Yovhanne's [III, 
Odznets'i, 717-728], the Philosopher, was the patriarch of the Armenians. In places such 
as Vaspurakan, Sasun, Aghuania, and Siwnik' the Jacobite Syrians held the same 
confession [as the Armenians, i.e., Monophysitism] based on apostolic foundations. 

[140] Thus the Syrians went to the kat'oghikos of the Armenians and said: "We are of 



the confession of Saint Gregory," and they received ordination from [the Armenians]. 
Nor was there any conflict among them. They were called "Gregorians. " But then a 
priest by the name of Barshapuh and a deacon named Gabriel from Mup'arkin arose as 
slanderers between the Armenians and the Syrians [g338]. They went and said to the 
kat'oghikos of the Armenians: "The Jacobites claim that the body of Christ is 
corruptible." Then they went to Athanasius and said: "The Armenians are Julianites." 
And the two patriarchs, Armenian and Syrian, wrote to one another [letters of] 
accusation, and then asked for [written] confessions of the faith from each other. They 
wrote these confessions of the faith and saw that the two were the same. However, here 
and there many folk still were mired in the disorders [caused by] Ezr. Thus the patriarch 
of the Armenians, Yovhanne's — a blessed miracle-working man who was extremely 
learned in Scripture as well as in secular knowledge — requested that a solemn 
[ecclesiastical] assembly be convened in the town of Armenian Manazkert (Mantskert) 
by the two sides, Armenian and Syrian. Six bishops and many clerics from the Syrian 
side arrived there, and together they held an inquiry into Orthodoxy, which included the 
slanderers, priests and Julianite deacons. They found that there were no differences 
between the Armenian and Syrian [confessions] except for some aspects of the service, 
which they did not bother with. However, some of the Syrians said: "In Acts of the 
Apostles it is written: 'God raised Jesus from the dead nor did his flesh see corruption 
thereafter'' [Acts 2, 30-32]." The patriarch of the Armenians was saddened by this and 
replied: "It says that because previously it was corruptible." Then he requested [g339] an 
Armenian copy [of the text] and found the truth there and they looked at the Syriac 
version and found that [in both the Armenian and the Syriac versions of that passage] the 
word thereafter was nowhere written. Those who had stated that the passage contained 
the word were embarassed by their own ignorance, [and the others] were delighted and 
the error of Ezr — which some still held — was corrected. Barshapuh and Gabrie'l and the 
Julianites were anathematized and a declaration of love and peace against slander was 
made between the Armenians and the Syrians. This occurred in 1035 of the Syrian Era 
[A.D. 724], which is 164 [or, 166] of the Armenian Era [A.D. 715]. However, some 
claim it occured in 135 of the Armenian Era [A.D. 686]. 

In this year Egypt rebelled from the Arabs. The Arabs went and destroyed them. Those 
who escaped this destruction took ship and fled. The next year, Turks arose and came to 
the Arab country at Artughi and took numerous cities. This was the beginning of the 
emergence of the Turks. Maslama went [g340] against them and thousands and tens of 
thousands died on both sides. Then the Turks made peace with the cities they had taken 
for these had been left to them, and they turned back. And they made peace with each 
other, and the Arabs left to them the cities they had seized from them, and went bach 
This was the beginning of the rise of the Turks. 

[141] The same year there were torrential rains, to the point that it seemed the very 



heavens had opened. Again the wall at Edessa was demolished and the city was taken. 
The following year the Arabs went to Byzantium and took the city of Gangra and then 
Nicaea, which they pulled down. Then a command was issued by Hisham to kill all the 
captives. There was an inquiry made at Edessa as to whether they were martyrs or not. 
The truth was not revealed in this, for doubt remained. 

In the 24th year of his reign, the Byzantine emperor Leo took the daughter of the 
Khazar Qaqan (Khaqan/Kagan) as a wife for his son Constantine [g341], having her 
baptized first. Then he gave the kingdom to his son and died that very year. Then the 
emperor's son-in-law, Artawazd, rebelled and entered Constantinople. Constantine fled to 
Anatolia, and they promised to help him. He arrived at the city of Amorium, and 
wintered there. Now when Artawazd learned about this, he assembled troops and went 
against Constantine, striking at him and making him flee. The remainder [of his forces] 
went over to Artawazd, and so he reigned as emperor. 

After 19 years of rule, Hisham died. He was succeeded by Walid [al-Walid II, 743-744] 
who did evil to the house of Hisham. He made Abas his military commander and sent 
him forth into the treasury of the Arab caliphate as though he were going into a sea of 
gold. By distributing [treasure] to all the military, he took over the caliphate. However, 
many did not accept [Abas] because he was the son of a concubine. Moreover, Walid 
was an evil-doer and a drunkard and they did not accept him, either. Thus they 
enthroned [Walid's] father's brother's son, Yazid [III, 744] in Damascus, and he sent and 
had his brother beheaded and put his head on a pike [g342] and circulated it around the 
city in a cart in a container of wine. Now after this, all the emirs rose up against each 
other, killing each other, each one seeking the caliphate for himself. Wasid took the 
country of the Persians; Marwan, Armenia; Sarit, Khorasan; Abdleh, Africa. Five [or, 
seven] months later Walid died. His place was taken by Ibrahim, a decent and merciful 
man. After a short while, he too died. Then Marwan arose from Armenia and 
encountered his brother Sulaiman by the Euphrates. Between the two of them, 12,000 
men perished [in their fighting]. Sulaiman fled to R'utsap' while Marwan went to 
Damascus and ruled [Marwan II, 744-750]. He brought 3,000 camel loads of the 
kingdom's treasure to Harran. Then he went on to Hems and took it after four months. 
He demolished its wall and also pulled down the wall at Balbek. Then he went to 
Assyria, to Nineveh and to the Parthians at Bahl whom he conquered. Ali's son Abdullah 
[or, his son Ali] came to Khorasan [g343] against Azab which is a river in Assyria, 
namely the Tigris. And through such infighting among the Arabs, the Byzantines had 
some peace. Marwan fled and the Ptoyik' took from Marwan 700 loads of dahekans and 
drams. 

[142] Taking auxiliaries, Constantine came to Constantinople, blinded and exiled 
Artawazd, and established himself [on the throne]. He had a son whom he called Leo 



after his father. The Byzantines ceased their warfare with the Arabs. This was even more 
so for the Armenians. 

In this period very great signs appeared from the month of March to the end of April. 
The air was full of dirt and dust to the point that day seemed like night. Then there 
appeared in the north three columns of fiery clouds [visible] for three days. These arose 
and descended. After this there appeared [g344] an unknown star, the size of the moon. 
Each day it rose in the east and travelled to the west, being visible to people for the entire 
day. There were flashes of the stars all night which flew against the Milky Way. After this 
there was a severe earthquake and, [in places] where the earth was torn asunder, 
fountains arose, the color of blood. After this there was a huge churning in the Great Sea 
[the Mediterranean] with waves rising to the heavens one would think, and [seemingly] 
boiling down to its depths. Many people and animals near the shores died from the 
thunderbolts. A fortress which belonged to the children of Ammon which had been built 
in the midst of the sea was torn from its foundations. The great tower which had been 
built with great care by Solomon over a fountain he had discovered in the water 
collapsed and sank. Following this there was a great famine and a plague accompanied 
by sore throats which killed 20,000 people a day in Basra. It is said that monkeys in the 
country of the Madianites became enraged and caused great damage by attacking people 
and animals. When Caliph Marwan of Damascus, who had moved his capital to Harran, 
saw all of this he repented [g345], seeing his death before him, and wrote [edicts] to all 
his realm [urging] repentance. The ground trembled, tears flowed, and everywhere fasts 
and prayer vigils were undertaken. For they believed that these numerous strange signs 
were omens of the coming end of the world. Indeed, extraordinary marvels occurred. For 
example, there was a village at the foot of Mount Tabor which an earthquake moved 
from its place and transported two miles distant without disturbing any structures and 
without losing a single chicken. The city of Manbij sank in its place. A third of the city of 
Constantinople collapsed, while Nicaea was completely demolished. Moreover, many 
cities in Bithynia were destroyed. However, the Chalcedonians did not repent or cease 
their evil doing for those living in Antioch bribed Marwan and established Theophilus 
— called the son of Mazman [Theophlact Bar Qanbara] — as their patriarch. He went to 
Harran and, again through bribes, took over the church of the Syrian Orthodox. [A 
monk associated with] Archbishop Theophilus struck the altar with his hand and 
declared: "O desecrated altar, tomorrow you will be sanctified by Orthodox blessings and 
mass." As soon as he said this, he caught fire and burned to death and great fear seized 
the patriarch Theophilus. That night they gathered up the charred bones and fled, and the 
city remained Orthodox [Monophysite]. 

[143] Now in those days Abdullah, son of [g346] Ali came to Harran and Marwan fled 
to Askelon with six camels loaded with gold and silver. From there he went on to the 
land of Nubia, with Abdullah following him. [Abdullah] caught up with him at Aswan 



(Nuan) on the banks of the Nile River they fought one another. Marwan was slain. All 
the treasures which Marwan had greedily collected and all his belongings were 
expropriated by Abdullah who then ruled alone [al-Saffah, 750-754]. Now while he was 
seated in his tent in a place close to a cemetary, a noise was heard. A large crowd 
hurriedly gathered which started to head toward the cemetary. Abdullah also went there. 
There they saw eight old men with dyed beards sitting up in their graves. [The army] 
remained there for three days and three nights. Abdullah placed guards by them. The 
men had come to life. Though they were asked questions constantly, they gave no 
answer, nor did they speak at all. Annoyed by this, by order of the caliph they were 
buried again. Nothing as to the meaning of this was understood. 

Emperor Constantine was an intelligent man well versed in Scripture. He secretly 
practised Orthodoxy. Now it happened that his wife died [g347], she who had been the 
Qaqan's daughter. He did not wish to take another wife, as was the custom of Christian 
kings, yet for three years they tried to pressure him to do so. Finally he told them: "There 
is no need for me to rule after a second marriage. However if you really want me to 
remarry, make my son the emperor and then I will take another wife." And that is what 
they did. Leo reigned as emperor, although his father cared for and concerned himself 
with the land and the house of the realm. Taking a wife and assembling troops, he came 
to Armenian Melitene and the surrounding districts. The Armenians and Syrians who 
had been under Arab rule he took away with him, saying to the Byzantines: "They are 
Christians. Let them be with us as our brothers and sons." Now when the Chalcedonians 
saw this, they went to the emperor and asked: "Why do you bring them, for they insult 
us and anathematize the Fourth Council." Then Constantine requested from them a 
written statement of their faith. The Armenians and the Syrians then provided written 
[statements] describing the one nature, one will, and one operation of Christ. Now when 
the emperor and all the princes saw this, they were astonished [g348] and praised it, 
saying: "This is true and Orthodox Christianity." Therefore he ordered that a council be 
convened to turn the entire country to this confession. And thus the council called the 
Seventh took place. The emperor said: "There are two provisions which I beseech you to 
remove, namely, [validity of] the Council of Chalcedon, and [the prohibition on] the 
worship of images in the Church." But they were unwilling and fell at the emperor's feet 
begging him not to tax them with his two requests. "Even if you put us to the sword, it is 
impossible for us to do what you ask". The emperor, who was greatly saddened, turned 
and said: "Will you at least eliminate [the inventions of] Maximus, the accursed 
Nestorian?" If not, I will not stay with you. They heeded him on this and anathematized 
Maximus who claimed that Christ had two separate wills and two operations. It is for this 
reason that many of the Byzantines have no consideration for this [Seventh] Council. 
However, the emperor secretly practised Orthodoxy and ordered the Armenians to return 
to their country "so that after my death they do not persecute you." He gave them 
presents and [g349] provisions for the journey and auxiliaries to take them there 



peacefully. 

[144] In this year locusts came and devoured numerous districts. The following year hail 
fell such as had never been seen or heard about before. It demolished many buildings 
and killed many animals wild and domesticated. People weighed one hailstone and it 
weighed eight [or, two] litrs. In this year Abdla, caliph of the Arabs, died after reigning 
for seven years. He was followed by another Abdla, Abu'l Abas [al-Mansur, 754-775] 
who ruled over the Persians and the Arabs. And there ruled Abu Jap'r who [re]built 
Melitene and the city of Karin which the Byzantines call Kalanike' and the Arabs, 
Arzrum [Erzerum] which means "branch of a tree," or East and Kamax which the 
emperor Constantine had ruined. In the same year after rebuilding these cities, the Arabs 
took Africa and, from the Persians, the land of Tabaristan and all the surrounding areas, 
and the fortified city o/Rey. 

In 1073 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 762] [g350], Jap'r built a city on the Tigris River above 
the city of Ctesiphon (Katizbon) and named it Baghdad, which translates "middle" since 
it is midway between the Persians and the Syrians. In this year a group of Kurds known 
as Mark' arose and captured 50,000 souls from Gozan. 

In the same year a woman from Bukara (Buk'raya) became renowned. They say that 
from the time of her birth she had not sucked a drop of her mother's milk nor had she 
eaten any [food]. [Yet] she came of age and became a normal woman thirty years of age 
without eating anything at all. They brought her to Baghdad to Jap'r. She was tested and 
it turned out to be so. Jap'r convened an assembly of savants [to inquire] whether such a 
thing had ever been known before, and they told him that it was unprecedented and they 
could not explain it, but that it was a miracle from the Lord God. 

In this period the Mages [Zoroastrians in Iran], deceived by this sign, revolted and set up 
their own king. The Arabs went against them and were defeated by the Mages. Then the 
Arabs went against the Mages a second time, killing [g351] 40,000 of them. They 
subdued the Mages, killed their king, and returned home. Then Jap'r turned to 
Mesopotamia. There he appointed two tax collectors, one an Arab named Suleiman, the 
other a Jew, named Muse'. [Together] they drained the land of gold and silver. Many folk 
dug into the cemetaries looking for something to give them since they were harassed and 
tortured by their violence. They opened the graves of pagans (fire-worshippers) and 
gave what they uncovered for taxes. When the Byzantines heard about this, they too 
began to dig up the graves of the anciently dead. Now while they were digging in the city 
of Nicomedia, they came upon the tomb of Nicomedes, the builder of the city. There 
was a great amount of gold and luminous precious stones interred with him, and they 
informed Constantine. He went to see this but did not want to take anything from him; 
rather, he had the place walled up with stones and mortar, and said: "Is there anything 



more repulsive than for the living to rob the dead and profit from it?" Then he got angry 
and threatened them not to do it any more. 

[145] Due to Jap'r's brutal greed, the land became so destitute of silver that an ox and an 
ass were sold for one dram, while a child fetched five drams. After 20 years [Jap'r] 
perished and the land rested from his evil pollution. That same year Emperor 
Constantine died after a reign of 34 years. His son Leo [g352] [Leo IV, the Khazar, 
750-775; 775-780] who had ruled with him was established in his position [as emperor]. 
Jap'r was succeeded by his son, Mahdi [al-Mahdi, 775-785] who ruled as caliph over the 
Arabs. He dispersed everything that his father had stored up and gave himself over to 
witchcraft which he studied, and he was guided by astrology. When Leo heard about this 
he sent him the sorcerers' books Janes and Jamres which had been used against Moses. 
They were received with the greatest delight. Mahdi came to Aleppo where 12,000 
Syrian Christians came out to honor him. He was astounded by such a multitude and 
envious. Then he seated himself and summoned them, saying: "You have two options. 
Either die or convert to our religion." All of them, including 5,000 Arabs, died for the 
Christian faith. Moreover, the wives and children of those who had apostasized left them 
and fled. Then Mahdi went to the Arabisos country in Byzantium, sending his son Harun 
(Aharon) to raid. Reaching the Euphrates, he enslaved 7,000 people, losing 4,000 of 
their own [troops]. 

Leo sent troops to Mesopotamia, gathered up the Armenian and Syrian Orthodox 
Christians and settled them in Thrace. He travelled the same path as his father [g353], 
neither revering images nor allowing them to be revered. Nor did he commune with the 
Chalcedonians. It was for this reason that some of the Greek historians complain about 
him and call him a Jacobite. After a reign of 10 years [Leo] died. Then his twelve- 
year-old son Constantine ruled and his mother was regent because of his youth 
[Constantine VI, 776-780; 780-797 Irene regent 780-790, 792-797; Irene 797-802]. 
When [Caliph] Harun [al-Rashid] learned about this, he came to the country of the 
Byzantines but returned home in disgrace. In this year Ali, at the command of Mahdi, 
built the city of Hadfath] in the Marash country. But he was not successful in this since 
Mahdi died and his brother Musa ruled for two years [al-Hadi, 785-786]. Two years 
after the building of Hadath had commenced, the Byzantines came and demolished it. 
Then Musa died and his brother Harun, called Rashid, ruled as caliph [Harun al-Rashid, 
786-809]. It was at his order that Abd al-Malik built [the city of] Rashid. He prepared 
2,000 carts and pulled down the churches which were west of the Sanga (Shenje) River 
which is [g354] close to Samosata. They also demolished the church at Kesoun with its 
fifteen altars, which had been built by the Apostles. And these stones were taken by cart 
to build Hadath. 

[146] In this period the coffin of a Jew was found in Edessa on which was inscribed in 



writing a thousand years' old: "I believe that Christ will come, born of a virgin and that 
He will cause His light to dawn on me." God physically will be born from a virgin and 
through a Cross will the light of His glory spread throughout the universe. May His 
mercy be visited upon me. 

In this year Constantine learned that Elpidius (P'ilite'/Felix), the patrician of Sicily, was 
committing adultery with his mother. He wanted to seize and blind him, but Felix fled to 
the Arabs. Taking 40,000 of their cavalry troops, he went to turn over Sicily to the 
Arabs. But as they went, they became trapped in the snow. Many of them died while the 
survivors went to Constantinople where they were treated humanely and departed with 
provisions. Because of his mother's adultery, Constantine disallowed the mentioning of 
her name in Church. Then Constantine's wife died and he scorned the Apostolic canons 
and took another [wife], thereby becoming hateful to many. He also defiled the 
daughters of the princes. His mother [Irene] heard the discontent [g355] of the princes, 
blinded her son's eyes, and herself assumed the rule having as her second the eunuch 
P'iladi [? Aetius]. 

In these days in Edessa the grandchildren of Athanasius, the children of his son Koma, 
were digging in their home and found many treasures [such as] snakes and scorpions 
made of gold and with the insides hollowed out. These were filled with some chemical 
which, when spread on copper melted it and turned it to gold. It was written on them that 
[the profit from this discovery] should belong to the poor and the Church. And they 
arranged that. After this [discovery] [the grandchildren] became very grand indeed, 
receiving horses and donkeys, dogs and falcons, and they went out to hunt. News of this 
reached the caliph of the Arabs who had them brought to him. He tortured them and 
took everything they had. They took the snakes, opened them, thought the contents were 
earth and dumped them out. Only later did they realize the value of the thing and greatly 
regretted their actions. One of [the prisoners] was a blessed virgin whom they gave to a 
Chalcedonian to guard. He had her put in an attic and placed Arab guards around the 
place. She, fearing that she would be dishonored, threw herself down from the heights 
and died. When the caliph of the Arabs heard about this, he was greatly saddened and let 
the others go. 

[147] Then the Arabs began to hate the Byzantines [g356] because of the lady Irene, 
since they had a woman for a ruler. Now the troops took counsel and planed to 
enthrone Nicephorus the Cappadocian. But when Irene heard about this she wanted to 
blind his eyes. However, a eunuch concealed him. The troops found him and made him 
emperor [Nicephorus I, 802-822]. The latter treated the regent and the eunuch 
respectfully, but when he heard that they were planning to do him evil, he sent Irene into 
exile to Athens and forgave the eunuch, not doing any bad things to him because of his 
own gratitude to him. 



In this period the caliph of the Arabs constructed a city in the country of the Arabs in 
Armenia and called it Sozopetra (Zupatra). Now the Byzanantines came and looted the 
Arab country. Nicephorus was a mighty and thoughtful man. He went to the country of 
the Arabs and returned with a great deal of loot. Some said that his family was of Arab 
origin but that they had earlier converted to Christianity because their own folk had 
scorned them, and that Nicephorus was the born from them. Now after P'ilite' had given 
Sicily to the Arabs he went and told them that Nicephorus was a valiant man, a man who 
fasted and prayed. They wrote to Harun. [Caliph Harun] assembled an immense 
multitude and went to Byzantine territory. There Nicephorus arose against him. They 
encamped opposite each other for two months and [g357] talked of peace. They made 
friendship with one another and the troops mingled. They swore an oath to each other 
and ate bread together Then Harun gave all his tents and dining vessels to Nicephorus, 
and turned back. 

Harun built a city above Callinicos and named it Heraclea as he had taken a wife 
[named] Heraclea. Nicephorus built Ancyra. 

Anania, bishop of Merdin, lived in this period. He hailed from a mountain near Nineveh 
known as Thousands (Hazaraworats r ). He built the Ananians monastery. Finding a 
ruined fortress, he bought it from the Arabs and dug in it, transforming it into a sacristy 
through much expense. He built secret and deep chapels there. He placed in it the 
remains of the Ananians, brought from Dara, and [the remains of] the apostle 
Bartholemew from Armenia, and [the remains of] Philip from Manbij. Then he went to 
Rome where he prayed and wept across from [the tombs of] the blessed Apostles. A 
portion of the relics of Peter and Paul were given to him. He brought these also [to his 
monastery]. Then he went to Babylon where he found the remains of the prophet Daniel, 
Ezekiel, Shem, [who was] Noah's son, and many other remains [g358]. He brought these 
and placed them in the sacristy he had built and hid them. Over them he built a 
magnificent church, where to this day prayerful vows are made. 

[148] Harun, caliph of the Arabs, made a count of the value of his treasures and found 
that he had more than Jap'r had accumulated, a millionfold more. And he was overjoyed. 
He prostrated himself before God three times and then wrote a document stipulating that 
his sons should succeed him in order of their seniority. He promised his kingdom to his 
eldest son, Muhammad. After [Muhammad], Mamun [was to rule] and after him Kasim, 
which turned out to be the cause of the ruination of their kingdom. [Harun] put 
Muhammad in Baghdad; Kasim in Syria; and Mamun he took along with him to 
Khorasan. He gave him his treasure and died there after a reign of 23 years. 

Now Nicephorus went with a large force against the Bulghars. He reached the capital 
city of their kingdom and caused great destruction, to the point that he threw their little 



children on the ground and mercilessly drove over them with his threshing wagons. It 
happened that a certain Frank became enraged by this wild and bestial behavior, struck 
[Nicephorus] and killed him [g359] when he was alone and away from his bodyguards. 

Then Muhammad [Muhammad al-Amin, 809-813] ruled as caliph of the Tachiks. He 
took his father's treasures from Callinicos and removed them to Baghdad, since Mamun 
[813-833] was ruling in Khorasan. This man was learned and intelligent as well. Now 
al-Amin wanted to create disturbances and violate his father's oath and not give treasure 
to Mamun. Thus the two of them, al-Amin and Mamun, began to war against each other. 
When people heard about this, many of the Palestinians (P'ghsh'atats'wots' ?) rebelled. 
Al-Amin mustered troops and put Ali as his military commander, and sent them against 
Mamun. They fought one another. The forces of Mamun were conquered and they fled 
and some drowned in the river. Then al-Amin was in Samosata where he [re]built the 
fortress and secured himself inside. Through Abd al-Malik' he subdued the rebels. He 
[re]built the walls of Edessa and Samosata and K'esun with the goods he robbed from 
Christians. Then the military commander Husayn rebelled, seized al-Amin, put him in 
prison, and went and resided in Baghdad. Al-Amin sent beseeching Husayn just to let 
him live, there being no need of him to continue as caliph [g360]. [Husayn] took pity on 
him, sparing him his life and giving him the caliphate. Al-Amin then went to Baghdad. 
Mamun then sent his military commander, Hort'om, to go and besiege Baghdad. Rocks 
[for war machines] were wanting in the city, so they demolished churches and hurled 
those out. Then that ceased and [Hort'om and his troops] entered the city. They found 
al-Amin hiding in a house, and they seized and slew him. Then Tahir, another of 
Mamun's military commanders, arrived at Callinicos with 4,000 troops, and the rebels 
started to decline. 

[149] In that period a frightful earthquake took place. The Koghot mountains, which 
were spread about here and there, [moved] and became close to each other — something 
which folk actually observed. Moreover, one mountain collapsed and fell into the 
Euphrates, blocking the river for a day going upstream. Many other mountains collapsed 
and many sources of water, bitumen, and naptha came to light while many others 
disappeared. 

Now there was a line of Arabs called the Qureshis who accepted Ibrahim as their caliph 
in Baghdad. When Tahir learned about this, he assumed authority in Harran and 
Callinicos and gave an order that henceforth, those who were idol-worshippers should 
make their sacrifices openly. And there were many who did [g361]. Tahir put Abdullah 
in Edessa and he harassed the Christians, saying: "Get up and go to your Christian king 
so that we may rest. Till now we have been tormented by living and wandering about out 
in the open, but now we have taken this country by the sword and hereafter it belongs to 
us, since the Lord has given it to us. " The Orthodox Christians were gravely saddened, 



as there was no mercy and no place of refuge for them. They placed their hopes only on 
the hereafter. 

After Nicephorus, they enthroned Leo [V, the Armenian, 813-820]. Michael, the military 
commander of the Romans, slew Leo and ruled himself [Michael II, the Amorian, 
820-829]. In this period Nasr rebelled in Suruj and he sent to Michael to pledge 
allegiance to him. Then Michael sent emissaries to Nasr. However, his own people led 
Nasr astray, and they killed those emissaries. 

Now Mamun had a prince of Byzantine extraction with him whose name was T'omas. 
He had come to his father, Harun, saying: "I am the son of Emperor Constantine." They 
held him in honor and believed him, and Mamun gave him troops to go to 
Constantinople, either to rule over them [g362] or to create a disturbance there. T'omas 
went and besieged Constantinople for six months. Then Michael took his Arab servants 
aside and promised them freedom if they would wholeheartedly fight against the Arabs. 
And they fought and made T'omas flee. They pursued and caught him, cut off his feet 
and hands and circulated him around the city. But Michael did not liberate his servants as 
he had promised. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

[150] In these times Mamun heard that the Qureshi sect of the Arabs had rebelled in 
Baghdad and had designated Ibrahim as their king, and so he came to Baghdad. Tahir 
came to him and he was sent as prince to Khorasan. Meanwhile, Ibrahim fled and 
disappeared. In this year the Adriatic Sea threw up onto the [shores of the] Cilicia 
country a fish having the length of 40 cubits and a similar width. It was not like a fish, 
but more like a frightful hill. The country assembled, cut, dried, and ate [the fish] and 
extracted a lot of oil from it which they sold in Antioch. They burned this [as fuel] and, 
marvelling, ate [the meat] for a long time. 

Now in 1140 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 829] the Byzantine emperor Michael died [g363] 
and Theophilus reigned as king [Theophilus, 821-829; 829-842]. Then the Bulghars 
submitted to him, as did the K'urdank and a part of the Arabs who are K'urdank with a 
separate language. In ancient times they dwelled among the Kurds and had a magical 
belief that a man named Mahadi would be revealed among them and that he would rule 
the entire country. Those who believed in him and died would rise after 40 days, live 
again for a while, and then be transferred to a deathless land. Some claimed that he was 
god; others, that he was a king. And they waited for him. Now in this period a certain 
man named Mahadi appeared, and [the people] thought he was the one. And he himself 
thought so as well. He put a crown on his head, covered his face with a veil, and his 
renown spread. His people gathered around him and they emerged from that country as 
a great multitude. Now Mamun was frightened by him. Then Mahadi went and 
established his dwelling in the Ararat mountains of Armenia, killing those who did not 
accept him. [His forces] went forth in all directions and he defeated everyone equally, 
eventually reaching the borders of Jazira, striking and destroying everything. Then 
Hasan, the military commander of Mamun, heard about him and insisted that he go 
against him. And he began to defeat [Mahadi's forces]. The multitude of his mob [of 
followers] began to flee from him [g364]. As for Mahadi himself, he removed the crown 
and the veil and fled, landing in the territory of the Armenian Sahak. Now the Arabs had 
seized his camp and turned back. Sahak went after the Arabs, killing many of them and 
causing others to flee. The Armenian prince Sahak seized Mahadi and beheaded him. 
The K'urdank' meanwhile had surrounded Sahak's fortress. When the latter had returned 
from the destruction he found his home thus surrounded, and he killed them. A few of 
them fled secretly and thus came to Theophilus. Now those Arabs who had gone with 



the K'urdank' also believed in Mahadi, who sometimes said: "I am Christ" and 
sometimes: "I am the Holy Spirit." Therefore they had believed what he himself had told 
them. When Theophilus saw the fugitives who had come to him, he was happy. With 
them he went into Tachik (Arab)- controlled territory. He went to Sozopetra and took and 
demolished it, and took its inhabitants captive [g365]. But at the coming of the next year 
the Arabs rebuilt Sozopetra. 

[151] The patrician Manuel rebelled from Theophilus, came to Mamun, and urged him 
to invade Byzantine territory. When he went to Harran he ended the demolition of the 
churches. Then he went on to Edessa and made inquiry about the revenues of the 
cathedral there. When he was told that they paid taxes to the Arabs, he issued an order 
that the Church should not pay taxes on any of its holdings, and should pay nothing to 
the court. In summer Mamun went to Cappadocia, captured four strongholds there and 
then turned back to winter in Damascus. In April of the following year he again returned 
to Byzantine territory. He descended to the fortress of Lulu; however, unable to take it by 
siege, he turned to Kesoun. Patriarch Dionysius came out before him, and [Mamum] 
treated him with great honor giving him a document freeing the Church [from taxation]. 
Now it happened that while he was speaking with the patriarch they brought him the glad 
tiding of the capture of Lulu by the troops he had left [g366] at the fortress. And so he 
felt even more affection for the patriarch. 

In this period the patrician Manuel left Mamun and went to Theophilus. Theophilus sent 
to Mamun, requesting friendship, to which Mamun replied: "Pay taxes to me and 
acknowldege me as king over you, and I will establish friendship with you." Then 
Theophilus made him no further reply. Now Mamun went to Cilicia, and a certain 
Byzantine came to him claiming that he was the emperor's son. Mamun believed him and 
gave him a crown costing 3,000 dahekans, and told the patriarch of Antioch, Job, to 
consecrate him emperor according to Christian custom. And this was done. When this 
was discovered in Constantinople, they anathematized Job. This imposter lived two years 
among those Arabs and no one bothered with him. Then he apostasized Christ and 
became a Muslim (tachkats'aw). 

Mamun went to Byzantine territory and through kindly deceit subdued the entire land as 
far as the city of Tyana, which the Arabs had demolished. And he started to [rejbuild it 
through taxes demanded from the country so harshly that every tongue cursed him. This 
reached the ears of the Lord of Power, and thus God struck him and he died. Then his 
brother al-Mu'tasim (Abu Sahak) ruled [A.D. 833-842]. He burned the building of the 
city [g367] and all its arrangements, then proceeded on to Baghdad which he subdued by 
force — even though they were not with him. Subsequently he went to Basra. Men had 
come to him from there with complaints, saying that There is an island called Banat, 
which had always rebelled and was causing great grief, because [the islanders were wont 



to] kill the merchants who travelled [from Basra] to Ethiopia and India. That island was 
located in the sea at a place opposite from where the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers join, in 
the Persian Sea. The caliph sent troops against it but was unable to take it because of the 
fastness of the place, the ingenuity of the people, and the bravery of the soldiers. And so, 
the caliph sent to Egypt and Saba and had brought from those places craftsmen and 
skilled divers who covered their sense organs with the foetuses of children and poured oil 
into jars with which [devices] they were able to descend and later emerge from the sea. 
Now [the caliph] had sent [the divers] along with the troops so that when the inhabitants 
of the island came forth in boats to fight with the Arab boats, they would suddenly enter 
the city and burn it. And this is just what they did. The rebels were destroyed, the 
fortress was demolished to its foundations and great ease came upon the merchants and 
travellers while the land of Basra expanded and was greatly built up. 

[152] Al-Mu'tasim built a sumptuous palace between Nineveh and Babylon in the village 
of Samara [g368]. From Egypt he brought balsam trees and many other types of plants 
and made a beautiful park for walking. He did the same thing in Baghdad as in Babylon. 
Now you must not think that these [places] are the same since they are separated by a 
four days 'journey. 

In this period al-Mu'tasim sent an embassy to Nubia and reminded them that from 
ancient times there had been a treaty o/peace between the Arabs and the Nubians. The 
Arabs gave a great deal of wheat, wine, olive oil, and clothing to the Nubians. 
Furthermore, should a king of the Nubians arise and go to the country of the Tachiks, the 
Tachiks would submit to him in all matters, just as though he were their own king. The 
Nubians gave to the Tachiks annually 300 black slaves, 10 monkeys and a giraffe. This 
latter is an animal with a tall front section and spots, large as a buffalo, and worth 20,000 
dahekans. [They also gave] wood which does not decay. Now when division had fallen 
upon the Arabs, that treaty had expired. Al-Mu'tasim was seeking [to renew it]. When an 
embassy arrived there, it found that their king had died leaving a daughter as his heir. 
A prince named Zakaria had given his son Gorg to her as a husband and thereby became 
king, since among them kingship by law is from the father's side. Now Zak'aria thought it 
would be agreeable to send his son [g369] to al-Mu'tasim. When the caliph of the Arabs 
learned about his coming, he was delighted and sent a great deal of money, men, and 
animals to cover the travel expensess. He also issued an order that the Tachik and 
Christian clerics, laity, and prominent people should go out to meet him and the entire 
land surged forth on the route, to see this novelty. 

[153] [The Nubian king was] a handsome youth of attractive stature in his twenties. He 
was seated on a beautifully caparisoned camel adorned with a new and priceless saddle 
surmounted with a golden howdah adorned with precious stones and pearls which had a 
dome topped with a golden cross. He wore gorgeous clothing which cannot be 



adequately described and a crown on his head, and in one hand he held a golden apple 
with a cross, and a golden staff with a cross in the other hand. There were four bishops 
with him, a multitude of priests, and four priests on all sides carrying golden crosses. The 
troops were also decked out in various costly dress which astonished the viewers. The 
caliph of the Tachiks arose and came out to meet him with many troops and 
accompanied him into Baghdad, where they sat on the same pillow. Patriarch Dionysius 
was summoned, asked [the king] about Orthodoxy, and then performed [g370] the 
mass. And King Ge'org took communion. The patriarch was astonished at the young 
man's wisdom and his brilliant expression of Orthodox faith, since he insulted those who 
spoke of Christ having two natures, and [the patriarch] blessed him. The Arab caliph 
gave this Christian king countless gifts [so extensive that they] could not be weighed, 
since he realized that prior to himself none of the [Arab] kings had been so glorified by 
the coming of a Nubian king. They confirmed the treaty [which had existed before] but 
not, as previously, based on monetary exchanges, but rather based now on complete 
friendship and mutual understanding. And they shared [or, divided] the cities named 
Aswan (Nswan), and Gawzan, two cities on the Nile between the Arabs and the 
Nubians. And the handsome King Ge'orgi departed with the greatest glory for his own 
land. However, two bishops and many other troops from their party died, since they 
were unaccustomed to the changing temperatures of summer and winter. 

At this time two Arab military commanders, Nasr and Babak, who were pleased by the 
Christian religion they observed in the Nubians, went to Theophilus, emperor of the 
Byzantines, with many of their troops and became Christians. Inflated by this, 
Theophilus took them and went with his troops to Sozopetra, which he demolished. 
After equally killing Muslims and Christians, he went on to Melitene and enslaved it. 
Then he arose and went to Arsamosata (Ashmushat) and Handzit', capturing many 
people, and departing. Now as soon as [g371] al-Mu'tasim learned about this he was 
infuriated and descended into Byzantine territory with two of his armies. [These 
consisted of] 30,000 Mauritanians (Mughri), 30,000 merchants, with 50,000 camels and 
20,000 mules bearing provisions. He went and took Ancyra (Ankuria). He proceeded on 
to Amorium a large and populous city, secure and lovely, unequalled in the country. After 
a siege of twelve days accompanied by fierce fighting, it was captured through the 
betrayal of one of its princes, named George (Cho'r'ch'an). In that city were monasteries 
filled with thousands of virgins whom [al-Mu'tasim] gave to his servants. They killed 
18,000 people there, and burned the city and its churches. God's judgement is 
unfathomable, and its depth is impenetrable. 

[154] Al-Mu'tasim had a son named Daoud who was motivated by demons. He asked 
that his father completely eliminate Christian freedoms: not to let them [as pallbearers] 
raise their dead in their arms, nor to ring [g372] the bell, not to display the cross outside 
churches, not to openly celebrate the divine mystery, not to raise hogs or to eat pork. And 



[al-Mut'asm] did this. So much did Daoud loathe Christians. 

In this period al-Mu'tasim learned that his brother's son, Abas, wanted to murder him. 
And many princes had pledged that they would get aid from the Byzantines, destroy the 
caliphate of the Tachiks, and go under Byzantine rule. [Al-Mu'tasim] put them into 
fetters and they died of hunger. And he wrote to all the Tachiks that Abas had wanted to 
destroy the Tachik authority. For this reason the Tachiks hate the name Abas. 

In this period in the north there appeared for three nights a red cloud which was like fire. 
This was followed by a strange rainfall which previously was unheard of and never 
before seen. Falling with [the rain] were rocks which peeled the bark off trees. The 
downpour denuded the land of its soil. Then the deluge visited Harran where an untold 
multitude of people and animals drowned, and many villages and districts were ruined. 
[The waters] picked them up and carried them into the Euphrates. 

After this Emperor Theophilus sent gifts to al-Mu'tasim and sought from him an 
exchange of captives, that he should give the Byzantines and receive the Tachiks. In 
return, al-Mu'tasim sent gifts even more valuable gifts loaded on 50 camels and said: "It 
is not the Arab custom to exchange [one] Arab for a Byzantine since the Arabs have 
greater value. But if you give up our [people] then I will return many of your people." 
Then Theophilus released many Tachiks, and there was peace between them. 

In these times in Palestine there appeared a man named T'amam who claimed that he was 
a messenger of God like previous such messengers. He said: "It is not fitting to tax 
Christians [at the current rate], only four drams should be taken from them." The 
Christians were ecstatic and they assembled — some 30,000 naked and barefoot paupers. 
[T'amam] arose with them and went to Jerusalem where he pulled down the [Church of 
the] Blessed Resurrection. Jap'r, the military commander of Damascus came there and 
killed him. Then al-Mu'tasim died and his son Harun became caliph [Harun (II) 
al-Wathiq, 842-847]. 

In that same year Theophilus died and his three-year-old son Michael became emperor 
with his mother, Theodora, controlling the empire [Michael EI, the Drunkard, 842-867; 
Theodora, regent, 842-856]. 

[155] Now as for al-Wathiq, he was a man who loved to eat and [g374] drink, who knew 
nothing about past events, or what might befall the land. He left [administration of] the 
caliphate in the hands of some other men and then, after five years, he died. 

Theodora managed the [Byzantine] empire for 14 years with her son, and then died. And 
Michael was established [as sole ruler]. In his day the Tachiks had six caliphs: Harun, 
Jap'ar, Mahmad, Ahmad, another Ahmad, and Abu Abdla who killed many people for 



no reason during his drunkeness. He was followed by al-Muhtadi [869-870] who arose 
in Khorasan and came to Baghdad. 

Michael, after ruling as emperor for 25 years died. Now since he had no son, a certain 
man named Basil [I, 866-867] ruled for two years. Then his son Leo ruled for 25 years 
and eight months. Al-Muhtadi died in his reign, and then Ahmat ruled as caliph for 23 
years [g375]. 

Leo's mother, Theophano, wanted to kill her son and he wanted to kill her, after he had 
been ruling for 1 1 years. But then suddenly the mother died, having lived a life full of 
good deeds. Then a year later Leo's wife died. Trampeling on the Apostolic canons, he 
took another wife and thereby became loathsome to everyone. Then, with no reason, he 
dropped that wife and took yet another wife. And then he took a third since there was no 
one to reprove him. And then he took a fourth wife and began to stipulate that every man 
should have four wives. After that he died of a bowel disease. In this time witchcraft was 
discovered in the patriarch of Constantinople. They removed him and put another in his 
place, only to find that he was a witch and a pagan. He had placed idols behind the 
[altar] curtain and revered them during the mass. This evil was revealed and, as a result, 
for a long while in the Church the curtain was done away with. They set up another 
patriarch and, since he, too, worshipped idols, they deposed him as well. He had said: "I 
learned this from your patriarchs, otherwise I would never have known about it." And 
this is how they were, for they did not have a thorough definition of the faith and, for 
that reason, God permitted them to do unworthy things. 

After this Leo's son Alexander [g376] ruled for a year. He, too, followed the witches. 
During his reign an earthquake occurred in Thrace which rent the earth and swallowed 
up many churches and structures. Alexander died from the shocks and his half-brother 
Constantine ruled for 57 years. Now because he was a lad [at his accession], they gave 
him governors and assistants [to counsel him] until he was established. 

During [Alexander's] reign the caliphate of the Tachiks (Arabs) changed from the line of 
Muhammad to the line of Ali [or, from the line ofAli to the line of Muhammad], and 
Ablabas ruled for 20 years. In this year the military commander of the Bulghars arose 
and grew stronger than the Byzantines. He sent his troops against Constantinople and 
harassed it greatly through warfare which lasted throughout the reign of Constantine. 

[156] In the 13th year of Constantine's reign, Muhammad ruled over the Arabs for six 
years. In the 29th year of Constantine, Jap'r ruled for 24 years. In the 53rd year of 
Constantine's reign, Abunosr ruled over the Arabs for two years. In the 54th year [g377] 
of Constantine, Ablabas ruled for five years. In the 55th year [of his reign], Constantine 
became sick and died, and his brother-in-law Romanus ruled. In that year Simon, the 



chief of the Bulghars, came and enslaved Thrace. Then he went and besieged 
Adrianopolis, greatly harassing it for a long while before he captured and then 
demolished it. Romanus sent to Simon requesting friendship. He got him to agree and 
they met each other at sea and established peace between them on the western front. And 
they [the Bulghars] turned to the east [for raiding]. 

From the time of Heraclius and 'Umar onward, Armenian Cappadocia and Syrian 
Mesopotamia and Cilicia were under Tachik control. Now, however, [the Tachiks] had 
weakened because of their drunkenness and fornication. And so Romanus' general, 
Kirakos, went to Melitene in Lesser Armenia. The city asked him to excuse them for 40 
days while they sent to their caliph and asked what he commanded. Kirakos agreed to 
this. [The inhabitants] sent an emissary who set out [g378] and was seized and brought 
to Kirakos. Out of terrror [the messenger] swore with tears in his eyes that he would give 
the city to them, and then he stayed there with them. Eventually he returned to the city 
giving them the glad tidings that "Today our troops will arrive. In the evening open the 
gates so they may enter the city." And they believed him. The Byzantines arranged 
themselves as though they were Tachik troops, and come evening, they entered the city. 
The city was thus filled with troops and [the Byzantines] took it. However, they did not 
kill the Tachiks since they had sworn an oath. They removed them and departed. Then 
they took the city of Karin/Erzerum and Kamax and Kesoun and the entire country. 
Thereafter they went to Cilicia and took that, too. Then they arose and went to Antioch 
by the sea and they took all the coast there and then went on to Jerusalem. [People] 
quickly consented [to their rule], since the Tachiks had grown weak. 

It was at this time that Romanus died and his son-in-law Constantine, who was a highly 
literate and benevolent man, became emperor. In the twenty- fourth year of his reign 
Abusahl ruled as caliph over the Arabs. Constantine sent his son, Basil, who came and 
captured Samosata. But then the bad news arrived that Constantine had died and his 
other son, Romanus, became emperor. Basil returned and submitted to his brother. 
Romanus sent troops to Aleppo and captured that city. That same year [g379] Abusahl 
died and then Abu Lianas ruled as caliph for six years. 

[157] As for Romanus, when he reigned he made gifts to the troops and generously 
distributed presents. Then he sent a force and captured Aleppo and harassed the Tachiks. 
Romanus died and the troops enthroned Nicephorus [II, Phocas, 963-969] over 
themselves. He was a man hated by the Orthodox, who deceived many people. He went 
to Melitene/Malatya, saw the ruin of the city and the land and then took his confidants' 
advice: "Send to Athanasius, patriarch of the Syrians for him to bring prople and restore 
the land so that should the Tachiks grow strong again it will be good for us if they 
destroy [the Syrians] and fall into the Tachiks' hands." He sent to Lord Yovhanne's at 
Antioch and swore to him that if he would fill the land up with Orthodox folk, either he 



would turn the entire country to Orthodoxy, or else [if he did not obey] the diophysites 
would be allowed to scorn them. [Nicephorus] vowed that he would end the persecution 
of the Orthodox. The patriarch believed him. He went and assembled Orthodox people 
everywhere and, by the emperor's promise, built up Melitene and the country and [built] 
numerous monasteries and villages which he populated with Orthodox people brought 
from Mesopotamia and Armenia. And he made his residence [g380] at Perit. Now when 
he had succeeded in this matter, the emperor called him to Constantinople, claiming he 
had so promised. And Lord Yovhanne's went to Constantinople with many bishops and 
vardapet s. 

In 1280 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 969] many diophysites had assembled there and held an 
extensive examination of the faith for two months. The Chalcedonians had so falsified 
things that there was not even an opinion about the truth among all the listeners. The 
emperor again tricked some of them by flattery and promising sees and gifts to the 
bishops who accepted their [Chalcedonian] confession, while he threatened those who 
did not. However, neither the blandishments nor the threats moved them. Instead, they 
replied: "We do not want to divide the one nature of God into two parts and neither gifts 
nor fear will make us do it." When the emperor heard this, he became furious with them 
and had them bound and placed in prison for four months. 

God's wrath fell upon the emperor, and he died. And [rule of] the empire was taken by 
John [I, Tzimisces, 969-976] a military man [g381] who was personable. But they say 
that Nicephorus' wife, Theophano (T'e'sp'ane'), murdered her husband because he was 
not married to her. Then she took John, who, previously, had been [an official known as] 
Bearer of the Slipper (ch'mushk) to the emperor. As a result, he was known as 
Tzimisces. He committed adultery with the empress and Theophano took him as her 
husband and gave him the crown. And they plotted together to kill the emperor 
[Nicephorus] . He was [militarily] successful, taking many districts from the Tachiks. 
And it was he who removed the Syrian patriarch and his bishops from jail. After this they 
returned to their own districts. 

[158] Now it happened that in this period the patriarch of Antioch was a Chalcedonian 
named Agapius (Alap'i). He persecuted the Orthodox with the connivance of some 
princes whose sons he had taken as pupils after baptism. He took the Syrian Gospel, the 
chrism, and the eucharist and three times tried to burn them in a roaring fire. But by the 
grace of God they were spared and did not burn. This impious man did not regret his 
deed and viciously claimed that "they did not burn because of witchcraft." As such 
[g382], he was more wicked than Nabugodonasor who, upon seeing that the three 
children had not burned, repented and glorified God. [Agapius, on the other hand,] on 
the feast of the Epiphany made bold to remove from the churches and from the city 
[monophysite] Armenian and Syrian men and women, and seized their churches. They 



held the feast outside the city. They beseeched God with tears in their eyes and vowed 
not to enter the city until they had seen their vengeance exacted. God quickly granted 
their request. He wrathfully struck that impious man, afflicting him with wicked ailments 
until he died. Then the Orthodox were returned into the city sighing and in honor, and 
glorifying the name of God. This took place in 1285 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 974]. 

Emperor Tzimisces was from the district of Handzit' and had his dwelling in those parts. 
He freed all the captives, was of a generous and forgiving nature, and beloved by all. He 
constructed a great church in Constantinople, and it is said about him that he was 
Armenian by nationality. He ruled for three years and then died. Then there was was 
great mourning all over the [g383] Byzantine world. After this they enthroned Basil and 
Constantine, sons of Emperor Romanus. And they were amicable toward one another. 
This was because Basil left his brother to rule and he himself went against the Tachiks. 
He reigned for 55 years and enjoyed many victory during his entire life, and subdued 
many lands. He stood against the Armenians and the West, and subdued the Armenians 
and the Bulgars. Then he died and his brother, Constantine, occupied his position for 
two and a half years before he, too, died. 

In this period the Tachiks were ruled by Alp'atl for 29 years, followed by Bubak'r for 19 
years, followed by Aplabas (Abul Abbas) for 22 years. 

[159] After Constantine in the Greek section there ruled Romanus, the brother's son of 
Constans. He arose in battle against the Tachiks, was defeated and fled. He had 
threatened the monasteries on Black Mountain [in Cilicia] saying that if he returned 
from battle successfully, he would make them Chalcedonian, as he loathed the 
Orthodox. He initiated a great persecution [g384] throughout all the countries under his 
domination and summoned lord Yovhanne's to Constantinople. He went there with six 
bishops and a multitude of priests. They found assembled in Constantinople 200 
Chalcedonian bishops, and they made an examination of the faith. They had the 
Patriarch standing while they themselves were seated. Now the Patriarch was an old man 
and it was difficult for him to stand. Therefore two bishops stood on either side and 
supported him. [The Patrarch] spoke with Scriptural authority and reprimanded them 
severely. They promised to give him the see of Antioch if he would only say that there 
were two natures after the union [of Christ's parts]. The Patriarch gave this reply: "I hold 
the throne of Peter on earth and in heaven, and have no desire for a physical chair. As 
for what you are trying to force me to say about two natures, what is that other than 
denial of the Trinity?" Then Theodorus, who was bishop of Melitene, slapped him on 
right cheek hand and [the Patriarch] was about to offer the other cheek when a certain 
Asori bishop arose and and hit Theodorus and then stood by the Patriarch. They told him 
to sit down and he replied: "I see Christ slapped and I rise to my feet. Should I now sit 
down? [.../ rise to my feet while you stay seated]." 



Then they dismissed the meeting in sorrow, since the emperor and the princes had begun 
to cry [g385]. However, subsequently, they started to conduct inquiries and said: "You do 
not hold Christianity fully Accept baptism and the priesthood, and then depart." But the 
Patriarch retorted: "We already have had baptism in Christ and the priesthood, which 
were given to us by the blessed Apostles, and which Dioscorus and Severus maintained, 
and which you do not possess, except for the anathemas which are on you heads." They 
grew angry and ordered that he be sent to the West, into exile. They took him for 28 
days and then repented and returned to Constantinople where [the clerics] were placed in 
prison. There great healing occurred, and news of these miracles spread, until neither 
prince nor commoner had not heard about them. Many blind folk had their eyes opened 
and many demoniacs were healed, and many were converted to Orthodoxy. The 
venerable patriarch Yovhanne's died there in jail with the solemnity of a martyr, to the 
glory of God. His disciples took his remains and put them with the other martyrs while 
his memory was ranked with the saints. 

Then the wrath of the Lord visited Romanus and he died wickedly. They enthroned 
Michael [IV, the Paphlagonian, 1034-1041], who reigned for eight years. At this time the 
caliph of the Tachiks was Ablabas [Al-Qa'im, 1031-1075]. Now one of Michael's 
relatives, who was called Michael the Califat [Michael V, 1041-1042] [g386] planned to 
rebel. [This rebellion lasted] for five months, then they gouged out his eyes. In the days 
of Michael, the Tachik Sulayman gave Edessa to the Byzantines. Then Michael died and 
there reigned the daughters of Constantine, Zoe and Theodora [1042; Theodora 
Porphyrogenneta, 1055-1056]. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

[160] At this point I must briefly write about the Turks, what people 
they came from, where they lived, and concerning how and why they 
came to dwell here among us, in our country. 

As the head of the prophets , the blessed Moses, says in the book of Genesis [10. 2-3], 
"Torgom was the father of Gog and others." It is clear that the Turks, who are Gog and 
Magog, descend from the line of Japheth. Japheth was the father ofTiras, Torgom, Gog 
and others with him. From this it is clear that the Turks are from the line of Torgom, 
and are called Turks from his name. Gog and Magog, who are nomadic people, 
descend from them. After the destruction o/the tower [of Babel] [g387] they went 
eastward and turned north, establishing residence between two lofty and extensive 
mountain ranges called the Breasts of the North. Then they spread and extended from 
the northeast to the southwest. They held two gates: one gate opened into Persia, and the 
other was by the Georgians and Alans. Alexander of Macedon closed these gates. 
Alexander of Macedon also had a gate made a Darpand, employing 3, 000 blacksmiths 
working in bronze and iron for six years. This long wall was constructed between the 
mountain and the sea and blocked them from entering. [The Turks] are modest with 
regard to women, and gentle and moderate in their ways. They worship one god, the sky, 
which they cdXXgon [gok] tangri, since gon [gok] in their language means "blue." They 
worship one god and call him Ko'k'tanghri which means "blue god, " because they 
believe that the sky is a god. They eat all sorts of unclean foods and carrion and wear 
clothes made from wool and hair for lack of other materials. They have no written laws 
or [written] traditions, since no prophet or apostle visited them. As a result, the 
[aforementioned] doors were closed against them so that they not fill up the country with 
corruption or ruin the world with their multitude and their abominations. The Persians 
when they had grown powerful further fortified the gate which leads into Persia — which 
Alexander had built with one fortress — by building six fortresses and placing guards in 
them. Whenever there was a need for troops [g388], the Persian kings took them from 
there for pay and, once the war was concluded, took them back there. 

[161] In the Bible, the prophet Ezekiel says about [the Turks] that Gog and Magog, [who 
are] the princes of Tubal (T'ovbel) and Mosokh (R'osmosek') will threaten the Jewish 



people and destroy Jerusalem. On three occasions the prophet mentions [the tribes of] 
Gog and the destruction they will bring. If we search in detail, we learn that indeed there 
were three times that they arose. The first took place during the time of the Persian king 
Cambyses son of Cyrus, whom some style the second Nebuchadnezzar. He hired troops 
from the Turks and defeated the king of the Assyrians. Then he sent them under 
Holophernes, who was one of them, to Palestine. Now after the conclusion of the battle 
he led them back [to their own territory] , and they took back with them [as booty] all 
the good things of the land: gold, silver, valuable clothing, and fruit. After [Cambyses], 
others of the Persian kings brought [the Turks] forth as auxiliaries, from [the time of] the 
Macedonians to the Sasanians. Each time [after the battles], they would be taken back, 
with valuables. And thus, there arose in them a desire to emerge from there 
[permanently], if there was a chance. This took place 510 years before the birth of 
Christ. Here is how it came about [g389]. 

Once when the Turks were being led back to their own country as usual, when they got 
near the gate since their escort was small, they turned on the Persians who were leading 
them and killed them. They seized a fortress which they retained and made more secure. 
Then they notified their kinfolk and a group of them arose to help them, and seized other 
fortresses, placing the gate under their own command. Then they notified some of their 
distant people, who were their princes and the wealthiest of them. After that, multitudes 
of them who had been behind the gate started to come forth frequently. Having 
accomplished this, they again fortified the gate, arose and came to the Aral (Aragh) 
country in the land of the Persians, close to the land of the Persians. Now they say that a 
white animal, like a dog, led them on. That dog led them to the [next] gate and behold, 
the gate was open and they passed through. Whenever they started to stray, that animal 
would bark loudly at them until they came back to him. They worshipped it. And [the 
dog] led them from their own land to the Aral. Then it left them and vanished from sight. 

There were three divisions [of Turks]. They cast lots, throwing three sticks into the air. 
One [stick] fell to the south, and so one division of them went south toward India and 
mingled with [the Indians]. A second lot fell to the northwest, and so the middle division 
went west to Thrace and dwelled there, calling themselves Komans/Cumans after the 
name of the land. The third lot fell in the middle country [g390] and the third 
detachment came and mixed with the Persians. Afterwards, many others arose. Then 
they closed the gate again. There were 70 chiefs among them who had come to the Aral. 
They placed 70 princes in a circle which they traced on the ground. Each [of the 70] 
held a wand [or stick] in hand, and it was stipulated that when they threw their wands 
into the air, whoever's wand fell inside the circle [which was the target], that chief would 
rule as king. They threw the sticks. Nine fell shy of the target, but one of them landed 
within it and, moreover, was driven into the ground. And so they established nine 
kingdoms there, eight of which submitted to the one who's wand had stood in the 



ground. They are well established there and hold the gate. Now [the Turks] ruled below 
two mountains called the Breasts of the World, and they likewise ruled many lands 
beyond those mountains. They always call their leader Qaqan since that was the name of 
the first king. Group after group came forth. Since many of them mingled with Arabs, 
they were styled Muslims after them and [particularly] after the [general named] Mslim, 
the leader of the troops who went against Constantinople. They especially cleaved to 
them since both the Tachiks and they confessed one God [g391]. [The Turks also] 
learned from them not to worship created beings. As a result, they hate the Cross and the 
Church. 

[162] These people [the Turks] wherever they go adhere to the religion [practised] there. 
Those who went south to India mixed in with the idol worshippers and became idol 
worshippers. Those who went to the south and west mixed with the Christians and 
became Christians. 

The Armenians and Georgians also, in times past, used to call forth [Turks] as auxiliaries 
via the other Gate. These folk became Christians. The [people] called Qipchaq — to use 
the Georgian word — are from these [converts]. In their own language "valley" is xit, and 
"vessel/pan" is ch'ax, [and thus, Qipchaq] means that they are locked up as in the neck of 
a vessel and poured out of it as needed. 

The first emergence [of Turks] was during the time of Cambyses, as mentioned. The 
second was under the Tachik (Arab) kings when they came to Palestine, and as John of 
Asia states: "There were 4,000 Turks with Abu Ishaq ("Sahak") when he took the city of 
Amorium." As for the third [emergence of the Turks], it is still in the future, close to the 
end of the world. As the prophet Ezekiel laments, three times will they come [g392] into 
the land of the Jews, corrupting the world as far as Palestine. And it is also said and 
John of Asia says further that when Emperor Tiberius [A.D. 14-37] sent envoys to 
them — as did Justin [I, 518-528] and Heraclius [I, 610-641] — the Qaqan wept upon 
seeing them. When they asked what occasioned his tears, he replied: "There is among us 
a sort of prophecy passed down from our ancestors which I heard from my fathers 
which says that when the kings of the Romans subdue the Turks with gifts and bribes, 
the end of the world is close at hand." The Qaqan asked: "Do you Romans pay taxes to 
the Persians or not?" They replied: "On the contrary. The Persians pay taxes to the 
Romans, for Trajan put taxes on the Persians." John [of Asia] also says this. The Qaqan 
was astonished that the Roman empire was so large. Now the envoys which went to 
them did not go there by traversing through their own country, but rather to the Qaqan 
residing by the gate near Mt. Caucasus as the ambassadors of Justinian and Heraclius 
narrated via the gate in the territory beyond Maragha. [The Persian shah] Shapuh had 
sent 5,000 virgins to the Qaqan who resides in a large area outside their own native land. 
The name of the land is Aragh, and they extend to T'etalia which is called Turk'astan. It 



is to this place that the amir Mahmut led the captives to Khorasan. From this people 
there ruled as sultans Tughril-Beg (Doghlabak') [1055-1063] , followed by Alp-Arslan 
(Albasan) [1063-1072]. Now they always style their king, "Qaqan. " But they have their 
own laws in their land, having left aside cannibalism which had been practised there. Let 
us here resume our previous narration. 

[163] Now in the year 1361 of the Syrian Era [A. D. 1050] there ruled over the 
Byzantines Constantine [IX, Monomachus, 1042-1055] for 12 [or, 13] years [g393], a 
great and generous man who suffered from gout. Rule over the Tachiks was held by 
Ablabas [Abu'l Sevuar]. 

In this period the Armenian city of Erznka was deluged by water and there remained 
[unharmed] only one house which belonged to a pious believing man named Kirakos, 
plus a church (hogetun). And in the same year there was a strong earthquake on the fast 
of Ar'ajaworats' [First-Fruits]. In the same year there was conflict about some matter 
among the Orthodox clergy. Some of them half of them went to the diophysite patriarch 
and he turned them to his heresy while he expelled other Orthodox from the city. He also 
took from them a church which had been built on the grave of the evangelist Luke, after 
taking [the church of] Saint Peter. But God took vengeance on him during the feast of 
Easter: thunder was heard and fire fell from the sky and burned the church together with 
the patriarch and his students while they were worshipping as well as many other people, 
such that not even one bone [g394] [remained which] could be removed from the place. 
And it was believed that this was the Lord's righteous judgement. Then the Orthodox 
returned to their homes, while those of the apostates who remained after the fire returned 
to their own confession, and many others turned to our confession and glorified our 
faith. 

After lasting 430 years, the kingdom of the Tachiks [began to wane] their kingdom 
began to fragment into many parts and the kingdom of the Turks began, in Khorasan. 
The [Turkish] captives which Mahmat had settled on fertile land were left alone; they 
grew [in numbers], and waxed arrogant. The name [of its ruler] was Tughril-beg who 
had gained power and became king. Others call him Do'ghlabe'k'. There was some 
great conflict and he ended up ruling over many lands. He sent troops to the confines of 
the Armenians. They came to Melitene, took the city, took captives and much booty, and 
turned back. But then a fierce snowstorm fell on them on Mount Sasun on the 
mountains of Sasun and 3,000 people of the Turks perished from the cold. But the 
captives became free and returned [to their homes] since they were familiar with cold, 
snow, and frigid weather and did not die. Then Monomachus died and his daughter, 
Theodora [Porphyrogenneta, 1055-1056], ruled for one year. After her an old man, 
Michael [VI, Straioticus, 1056-1057], ruled for one year. He was a blessed man who 



fasted. Rather than live on the fruits of other people's labor, he made spoons with his 
own hands and sold them [g395] for his livelihood. As soon as he saw that the Turks 
were growing stronger, and were coming to ruin the Byzantines' country, and that they 
already had ruled over the Persians, Medes, and Assyrians, he became frightened, and 
removed the Christians [who were living] on this side of the sea and relocated them to 
the other side to a secure place. And the Turks came, found the country ofAtalia, Uch, 
and Iconium (Kawn) deserted, and settled there. Many blamed [Michael], but he had 
done a humane deed, saving Believers. 

[164] In that year a certain prince Comnenus rose up and seized the kingdom. Michael 
escaped, shaved his head and entered a monastery. Comnenus [Isaac I, Comnenus, 
1057-1059] then ruled for two years. He was followed by Ducas [Constantine X, Ducas, 
1059-1067] from the Paphlagonia country who grew stronger against the Turks, built a 
wall for Melitene, and, after reigning for nine years, died. 

In this year Tughril's military commander K'sisari [? Salar-Khorasan] came to Aleppo 
and took it. This was the start of the taking of cities in deep Assyrian Mesopotamia, from 
Damascus [g396] to Aleppo, and from the far side of the Euphrates to the sea of 
Adrianople, which is Cilicia. Tughril's military commander went as far as the sea of 
Pontus. 

In these days Satan inspired the patriarch of Constantinople to do a deed loathsome to 
man and angels alike. He had the writings and holy oil of the Orthodox Armenians and 
Syrians burned and trampeled under foot. They did not respect even the bread and 
chrism of communion. He had Patriarch Athanasius and 25 bishops summoned to 
Constantinople. However, before they departed the wrath of God descended and that 
godless insulter of Christ died as did Arius. His replacement as patriarch held an 
investigation into the faith and angrily and heatedly denounced them. The Greeks were 
defeated by the Holy Spirit. The blessed Athanasius became furious and anathematized 
them. Furthermore they were exiled to the island of Chios. But at the empress' order they 
returned to their own places he returned to his [patriarchal] throne. 

Now after Ducas, Romanus Diogenes [Romanus IV, Diogenes, 1068-1071] ruled 
[g397]. In this period died the sultan of the Turks, Tughril, whom they [also] call 
Do'lghabak, and Alp-Arslan became sultan. [He] came in person among the Armenians 
and Byzantines. He subdued them and took Shamshute'. Then he went on to Ani which 
he took with 100,000 men. There he killed 1,000 men in a ditch and bathed in their 
blood. Then he turned to Naxjawan. Diogenes gathered countless troops and went 
against them. [The Byzantine emperor] came to Kars and burned down an Armenian 
church and he swore that if he defeated the Turks, he would either completely 
exterminate th Armenians or convert them to his [Chalcedonian] faith. The Lord heard 



him, but did not help him. The Byzantines were defeated by Alp-Arslan and [Emperor] 
Diogenes was seized. When this was learned in Constantinople, they enthroned Michael 
[VII, 1068-1071]. Then Diogenes got free of Alp-Arslan through oaths and entreaties 
and wanted to go to Constantinople. However, [the Byzantines] blinded him and, on 
Michael's order, they killed him. 

Then Alp-Arslan sent his sister's son, Sulaiman, who came and took the land of the 
Armenians and ruled as king. Then there were two sultans, one over the Byzantines and 
Armenians, and another in Khorasan, of Turkish nationality. Sulaiman arrived and 
suddenly entered Antioch at night, seizing it. And he turned the senior churh o/Saint 
Peter into a mosque. 

In this period an emir pious, prayer-loving, and kind by the name of Danishman arose 
among the Turks, came and entered the Cappadocia country, came to Cappadocia with 
his troops at Alp-Arslan' s order. He seized Sewast and Caesarea. He took Sewast and 
Caesarea, ruled them, and grew great. This was the beginning of the House of 
Danishmand [g398]. For this was his name. Earlier they had been taken captive among 
the T'etalik', learned the laws of the Tachiks and thereafter believed in Islam. They 
became fervent in the faith. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



[165] The history of the taking of Cilicia by the Armenians starts here. 

When these developments were unfolding, some 50 Armenians who had been harassed 
by the Turks went and dwelled in deserted areas. They armed themselves and harmed 
the Turks, beat the Turks, and took from them things they needed. They came to the 
Marash country and found there a man of their own Armenian nationality named 
Philaretus. He was a personable and attractive man. He became their leader and they 
entered the Cilician country. At that time the Turks were ruling there. [The Armenians] 
took a fortress from them and made it more secure. Then they took the entire country 
with its cities and fortresses as well as many lands around Cilicia — Marash, Kesoun, 
Ablastan, and Gargar, Melitene and Edessa on the other side of the Euphrates, and 
many other places. The Turks were frightened of him. The Byzantines learned about this 
and gave gifts to Philaretus, styling him sebastos. Afterwards, Turks from all over 
gathered against Philaretus and took half his lands. Then he went to Baghdad, to the 
caliph and, for the territory, he weakened in the faith [converted to Islam]. He received 
[from the caliph] a document saying he should retake the lands. Before he had returned, 
they had taken the remainder of [his] lands and did not return it. They say that 
[Philaretus] regretted [his conversion to Islam] and returned to his own faith and, in 
repentence, shaved his head and entered a monastery [g399]. 

Now in this period when the Turks were growing strong, the Arabs — who were called 
Tachiks after one Tayyi, a glorious and wise prince of theirs — submitted to them. The 
Turks and Tachiks mingled together and became one people and were called by the same 
name [Tachiks] . Now they left alone the prince in Baghdad who was called caliph and 
was of the line of Muhammad. He received honor from the Tachiks and Turks and they 
received their faith and honor from him. And they revered him as though he were 
Muhammad himself. By writing and through oath, both peoples submitted to him, 
promising to take their faith and orders from him. From then on it was by order of the 
sultan in Khorasan and the caliph that those deemed worthy received the honor of emir. 
Then [the Turks] came and ruled over lands and districts. And thus, in this way, there 
came to the Armenian areas an emir named Sukman who was of Turkish nationality, and 
they called him "Shahi Armen" which means "King of the Armenians." Then a certain 
emir came from Mesopotamia. He was also a Turk, named Artuk, and they were called 



Artukids. 

[166] Now the emperor of the Greeks Michael [VII, Parapinaces, 1071-1078] was weak 
and a womanizer and had no interest in war. He was afraid of the Turks. He sat around 
eating and drinking. Then there arose against him [g400] Nicephorus [III, Botaniates, 
1080-108 1] who came to Constantinople with his troops, took the city, and began to 
destroy it. Then Michael took the crown in his hand, went before him, and said: "Take 
this [crown] which you are seeking and stop using your sword against the Christians." 
And [Nicephorus] took the crown. He ordered that [Michael's] hair be cut off and that 
he be taken to a monastery. And he took the emperor's wife as his own wife, and also 
castrated [Michael's] two sons. As a result, everyone loathed him. This displeased the 
court and they hated him. Consequently, one of the princes, named Alexius, took his 
many supporters and seized the empire. Alexius did to Nicephorus what the latter had 
done to Michael. Alexius [I, Comnenus, 1081-1 1 18] ruled over the Byzantines for 29 
years. 

At the start of his reign, Alp-Arslan took Damascus and killed Ak'sis. 

In that same year, some counts among the Romans assembled numerous troops and 
came to Constantinople [g401] and besieged it for seven years. The reason for their 
emergence was as follows. When the emir Artuk captured Jerusalem at the command of 
Malik-Shah, he placed the [Church of the] Sepulcher under taxation so that they would 
collect one red [ducat] from each person praying there. At that time one of the counts of 
the Franks named [Raymond de] Saint-Gilles (Znjil) had come to Jerusalem to worship 
at the places [held by] the infidels. When he entered the Sepulcher, they demanded from 
him more than the stipulated tax. In this time, when the Turks ruled Jerusalem and the 
entire seacoast, a prince named Saint-Gilles came to Jerusalem to pray. They took a 
dahekan from him as they did from all pilgrims. But then they demanded more. Now 
when he refused, [the Muslims] struck him such a strong blow that one of his eyes fell 
out. The prince took that eye and put it in his pocket, took it to Rome, and went around 
to all the counts and moved them to zeal for the Lord. They arose and first came to 
Constantinople. While they were besieging Constantinople, an earthquake occurred at 
Antioch [ca. 1092]. The wall fell down and a tower completely collapsed down to its 
foundations. There they found many [g402] bronze statues which seemed to resemble 
imags of Franks in their clothing, mounted on horses and bound with iron chains. 

The emir had [the statues] brought before him and then investigated what they might be. 
Some said that they were idols from ancient times, and he commanded that the statues be 
broken into small pieces, and this was done. An old and blind woman heard about it and 
said: "Those statues are talismans made by the Greeks using magical means to prevent 
the Franks from getting powerful, becoming kings, and crossing over the sea to us here." 



You can tell from the iron chains which hold them bound. When the emir heard this, he 
was greatly saddened by the destruction of the statues. And at this same time [the 
Franks] took Constantinople, crossed over here, grew stronger, and came to Antioch by 
ship. 

[167] They had nine leaders. Two of them were from the line of kings, Bohemond 
(Pemund) and Tancred (Tangri). Seven were counts: Roger (R'ojel), Bohemond, 
Baldwin, Joscelin, Valeran (Kalaran), Godfrey (Kondop'ri), and Salke'sn and Dibaxt. 
Now T'e'odoros, whom the Armenian Philaretus had installed [as ruler] over Edessa, 
lived in those days [g403]. [T'e'odorus] sent to the Franks at Antioch promising to give 
the city to Godfrey. And [the Franks] rejoiced greatly, saying: "Just as the city of Edessa 
believed in Christ before Jerusalem, and just as Abgar, king of the Armenians, who 
believed in Christ ruled first in Edessa, so shall we, by the grace of Christ, rule over 
Edessa first, before taking Jerusalem." Thus Godfrey sent his brother, Baldwin, and ruled 
over Edessa. Others besieged Antioch for nine months. Now the emirs of the city [were] 
Gisan and Aliwsan, and they were in hiding. Gisan arose and quit the city. Two 
craftsmen, men of Armenian nationality, encountered him. They killed him and brought 
his head to the Franks. There were in a tower two brothers, also Armenians, who took 
heart and killed the Turks with them [in the tower] and then notified the Franks. [The 
Franks came there], entered through that tower, took the city, and thereafter ruled over it. 
In this same period, Sulaiman, who ruled over the land of the Byzantines, was killed in 
Iconium [g404] and Kilij-Arslan [I, 1092-1107] ruled as king. 

When the sultan [ruling] in Khorasan heard about the Franks' assault on Antioch, he sent 
Kerbogha (Kiwrapaghat) with 100,000 cavalry. [Kerbogha] came and besieged the 
Franks in Antioch. [The Franks] had so recently captured the city that as they were 
entering the city, the army of the Turks had already sacked Baghras. As a result, [the 
Turks] put them into great straits with hunger. Now the Franks took refuge in God with 
prayers and tears. But then they found the lance of Christ, the patriarch discovered the 
lance of Christ preserved in the foundation of the church, and fortified by it, [the 
troops] emerged and broke the Turks in a noteworthy miracle, killing for a day as they 
drove them along. And the Turks fled to Mesopotamia. Then the Franks went and took 
the seacoast and Joppa, and then went on to Jerusalem. Now before the Franks had 
come, the Egyptians had taken Jerusalem and were ruling [g405] it. It was filled with 
Arabs who had come from Egypt and had taken it from the Turks. The Franks took it 
from them and generally slaughtered them. Some fled to the Tachiks and went into the 
Temple. Their notables fled and filled up the Temple. [The Franks] brought them out 
and killed them. The patriarch seized a street and proceeded to [the Church of] the 
Resurrection, killing as he went, where he washed his bloodstained hands, repeating the 
psalm which says: "Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord and receive his reward and 



wash his hands of the blood of the sinners". [Psalm 57.11; Armenian version 58.10] . 
And [the patriarch] immediately offered the mass, exclaiming: "Never in my life have I 
offered such a joyous mass to God. " Then Godfrey reigned as king over Jerusalem for 
two years [Godrey of Boulogne, 1099-1 100], followed by Baldwin who ruled for fifteen 
years [Baldwin I of Boulogne, 1 1 00- 1118]. 

[168] In this period Kilij-Arslan came against Melitene. Hearing about the strengthening 
of the Franks and their capture of Jerusalem, he turned back. At that point, Danishmend 
came against Melitene, burned its gates and crops, and turned back. He continued to do 
this for three years. Meanwhile, Gabriel the Greek, whom the Armenian Philaretus had 
appointed, [or, [who was ruling] from the time of Philaretus], was in Melitene and 
harassed the people of the city worse than those outside were doing. In this period there 
were among the chief princes of the Armenians Basil, who held Kesoun and Raban in 
the time of Philaretus. [Other important princes were] those called the sons of Ruben 
[the Rubenids], who were ruling in various places from Philaretus' time. They sent for 
and had brought to Cilicia the kat'oghikos of the Armenians. In this year the Greek 
Gabriel gave Melitene to Danishmend, thereby cheating the Franks to whom he had 
promised it. Danishmend brought ease and construction to Melitene and took care of 
them, bringing in bread, livestock, and freedom and [g406] they [re]built it. This 
Danishmend took captive King Bohemond and ransomed him for 100,000 dahekans. 

In this period the kingdom of the Turks was wracked with rebellion in Khorasan. At this, 
the Tachiks raised their heads again. There was dissension between the Tachiks and 
Turks and they fought each other. The Tachik Molaghib arose in Hems and took 
Apamea and went on to Damascus. Dogas and Uraton [Raduan], emirs in Aleppo, took 
Sanjar and Harran, and the Turks and Tachiks fell into contention. However, in Bithynia 
and Cappadocia there were not Tachiks. Instead, the Turks held them and contended 
with the Byzantine. The Tachiks held Egypt. There was enmity between Danishmend 
and Kilij-Arslan and they warred with each other. Danishmend died in these days — two 
years after taking Melitene. Then Kilij-Arslan went against Melitene, where one of 
Danishmend's sons 1 , Aghusin was located. [Kilij-Arslan] took it with an oath. 

In this period they named as sultan [g407] of Khorasan Ghiyath ad-Din who sent Chavli 
[Abu Mansur Djawali] with troops against the Franks. He arrived as Mosul. Emir 
Chkrmish (Agarmish), who was [ruling] there came out before Chavli and they battled. 
Chavli was defeated, seized, and led into the city in chains. But after a short while 
Chkrmish died and Chavli was freed. Now he went and assembled many other troops 
and again wanted to go against Mosul, for they had named Chkrmish's son as emir. 
When the people of Mosul learned about Chavli's coming, they sent to Kilij-Arslan, 
brought him, and gave the city to him. Chavli went and took Xabur and Kilij-Arslan 
went against Xabur. But as [Kilij-Arslan] was crossing a river, he drowned. Then Chavli 



ruled over Mosul and Nisibis. He gathered up treasures and went back to Khorasan. In 
Melitene they learned about Kilij-Arslan's death and they placed as king his son, Tughril- 
Arslan (Tugh aslan) [g408]. Now the latter designated two men as military commanders, 
El-Arslan and Pizmish. [Pizmish] fell and died [through a plot hatched] by his mother, 
and Tughril took the mother [as his wife]. Now Kilij-Arslan had three other sons: Arab, 
Shahan Shah, and Masut. Danishmend's son, Amir ghazi, killed Arab, while Shahan 
Shah killed Masut. 

[169] Now in that period, when Baldwin was the second king of Jerusalem, there came 
from Rome to Jerusalem on pilgrimage a prince named Godfrey, along with thirty 
horsemen. He had vowed that he would never leave. After a year he became a monk and 
the thirty horsemen with him also changed their garb and lived in holiness and prayer. 
Now since the Turks were harassing the Christians, [people] begged them to go forth into 
battle against them ... [lacuna] among the Christian forces, saying that fighting the 
infidels to save Christians was more pleasing to God and more beneficial to their souls. 
The king and the patriarch gave them land and properties, fields and vineyards by the 
sea, and the Temple as a residence. Others came and joined them and they established 
their rules [of the order]. They became monastic brethren who lived in sanctity and 
celibacy and owned no individual private property [g409]. They fought against the 
infidels and never against Christians, and called themselves soldiers of Christ [Knights 
Templar]. Word of this spread to Rome and everywhere else. The poor, the wealthy 
[merchants, metsatunk'], and the princes allied with them and they received fortresses 
and villages, ships, and income from taxes on the Christians, and they grew rich, and 
became a separate force. This was the beginning of the Freres, who are called 
Hospitallers, since they established hospitals for the poor and sick. Subsequently, 
others separated from [the main body] and formed a separate entity. And they said: 
"Give us in writing a share of all [you have acquired] in the past. " The Freres did this. 
And [the second group] sold all of this and became wealthy. Then they requested and 
received as much land as a pack animal could traverse in one day and night. But then 
they realized that they could not survive as two separate communities, and so, they sent 
and bought back the lands at great expense with much gold, silver, and villages. Others 
also gave to their community, and called them Templars which means "house of the 
poor. " Such is what we heard about them. 

[170] In this period Paghak, who was of the Artukids, grew powerful and ruled over 
many districts. Kilij-Arslan's wife went to him and became his wife, leaving her children. 
There was no other Artukid who was Paghaks equal. 

In 1430 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1119] Emir Ghazi ruled and went against Antioch with 
7,000 troops. Roger arose against him and was defeated by them. When Baldwin, the 



king of Jerusalem heard about this, he came and crushed them and put them to flight. 

In this year the king of Melitene, Tughril-Arslan, took Ablstan and the Franks came and 
seized the Melitene land while the king of Melitene and Paghak went against Kamakh 
and captured it. The lord of Kamakh, Mangujak, fled to Trebizond, placing his hopes on 
[g410] the Byzantines. Taking troops from the Byzantines and, with Gabras (Xor'az) at 
the head [of his troops], he came against Paghak. The Byzantines were defeated and 
Mangujak and Gabras were captured. And they ransomed Gabras and they ransomed 
them for 30,000 dahekans. 

In these times the offspring of Armenian royalty entered the Cilician country. They had 
earlier — during the days of Emperor Basil — come from Vaspurakan, dwelled in Sewast, 
Caesarea, and Xawatank', and had seized many places. They had become reduced and 
weakened by harassment from the Byzantines. They entered Cilicia, seizing many 
districts with their fortresses and castles. Some of them were known as Rubenians. 
[This group] consisted of two grandee families, descendants of Hayk and Senek'erim, 
who had mingled together through marriage ties and had ruled in Vaspurakan when the 
Bagratids reigned in Greater Armenia. Then they began to rule in the country of the 
Cilicians and the Syrians. Then there reigned with noteworthy bravery first Ruben, then 
Constantine, Lewon, T'oros, and others, one after the other. 



Concerning the War of the Birds. 

In 1434 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1 123], a great war of the birds took place. Cranes and 
storks assembled for many days in the country from Amida to Tellakum 
(T'lxum/T'e"lxam). Then they began sending emissaries back and forth for three days. 
After a good deal of this traffic, they commenced fighting from the third hour [g4 11] 
until the ninth hour, shrieking loudly the while. There was a great slaughter on both sides. 
The storks were defeated and fled, and the war ended. Only God knows the reason for 
this. 

[171] In the 500th year of the rule of the Tachiks, Ghiyath ad-Din, sultan of Khorasan, 
heard that Satagha was ruling as king over Tikrit. [The sultan] arose with all his forces 
and went against Satagha. They battled near the Tigris River. The Tachiks were defeated 
and Satagha was slain. With this, the kingdom of the Tachiks ended after lasting for 500 
years. [This event occurred] in 1433 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1 122], 70 years after the 
emergence of the Turks. 

In this period Ghazi learned about the death of Paghak. He came against Melitene, but 



was unable to take it. Ghazi, who was Danishmend's son, turned back leaving his son 
[g412] in charge of the troops. It was he who put [the besieged] into great straits through 
hunger, and then took [Melitene]. He took pity on them and did not blame them, rather 
he brought in bread and lentils. In this period Paghak died. When Danishmend's son, 
Amirxazi, heard about this, he went and took Melitene. He brought ease to them, since 
Paghak had greatly harassed them. The caliph sent a crown to him and styled him 
Melik Ghazi, King of the North. He gave them an oath of peace, and departed. Emir 
Ghazi grew powerful and wiped out the Turks who were in the Cappadocia country. 
Then he alone ruled. In these days he heard that a Greek named Kasiae' held eight 
fortresses on the coast. [Emir Ghazi] went against them, and captured them. He subdued 
the Greek who gave up the fortresses. He came out before [Emir Ghazi], and was in his 
hand. [Emir Ghazi] killed Masud the Artukid. When the caliph and the sultan of 
Khorasan heard about his valor, they sent him a crown and gifts and called him 
Melik-Ghazi and styled him king of the entire North. 

In this period John again ruled over the Byzantines [John II, Calojohannes, 1092-1 18 
and 1 1 18-1 143]. He seized Castamon and two other fortresses. Melik-Ghazi heard about 
this, and went and retook Castamon. 

In this period Zangi, the emir of Mosul came against Aleppo and [the people] willingly 
gave it over to him because of his reputation for justice. 

In this year the caliph and Ghiyath ad-Din sent to Melik-Ghazi four black standards 
[g413], a golden chain for the neck and a gold staff which certified him and his 
descendants in the kingship. They also brought trumpets and drums. Now it happened 
that when they arrived, [Melik-Ghazi] had died and so they implemented [the honor] on 
his son, Mahmud, declaring him king (Melik). They put the [golden] chain around his 
neck and golden fetters on his feet, and struck him 12 times with the staff, signifying 
[his] obedience. This man was a great hater of Christians and he harassed them, and 
followed the Tachik's faith, not drinking wine and not committing shameful acts. He built 
the wall as Caesarea and pulled down many churches there. In this same period Zangi, 
the emir of Mosul, made war against the Artukids, and defeated them. 

[172] In this period the pope of Rome came to Jerusalem and then went on to Antioch. 
There were Chalcedonian Greeks there who slandered the Syriacs (Asoris), Jacobite 
Syrians, saying: "These cheats hate the Council of Chalcedon and, moreover, they have 
in a golden reliquary the right hand of Barsama, who was anathematized by the Fourth 
Council. They claim that it works wonders and miracles. When we say 'open it so that we 
may see it' they reply: 'we do not dare to do that, lest there be downpours and hail.' They 
say this and then laugh." The pope summoned the patriarch of the monastery of Mor 
Barsama to bring the reliquary from the mountain to the church of Saint Peter, and said: 



"Bring forth that right hand so that I may see it." At that time locusts were polluting the 
country and so he said [g414]: "Bring it for [help against] the locusts so that, through it, 
God will take pity on the land." They replied: "We dare not remove it from its place." 
Then [the pope] got angry at them and said with an oath: "If you do not bring it here, 
there will be no memory of you [left] here in our city. Rather, I will remove you and all 
your people." Thus compelled, they went and brought it to [the Church of] Saint Peter. 
Then the pope said: "Now open it so that I may have a look." They replied: "You should 
open it yourself, father." And so, taking [the reliquary], he opened it. Suddenly, in the 
twinkling of an eye, the sky became covered with clouds and fierce rain began to pour 
down. There was thunder with lightning, and rain mixed with huge hailstones that 
threatened to wreck the city. Then the pope and all the clerics fell on their faces, weeping 
and wailing prodigiously. When [folk] heard about this, the entire city — all the men and 
women — arose and came to the church. They closed the reliquary and, after much 
damage, the disaster ended. 

In that year locusts had come and were devouring everything in the confines ofAntioch. 
The pope asked the Syrians to hold a vigil about the [plague of] locusts through the 
intercession of the saint. The pope also ordered that the ridiculers [of the relic's efficacy] 
should be seized. But no one could find them, since they had fled. Then the Orthodox 
Syrians and Armenians held a vigil among themselves [g415], brought out the reliquary 
and protected the land. Immediately, by the mercy of God, the locusts went and filled up 
the sea. They glorified God and His servant, Mor Barsam, and [the Chalcedonians] gave 
him a place for a church, which they constructed and furnished. The pope laid an 
injunction that no one should dare to anathematize those hating the Council of 
Chalcedon, for [the pope said] "God, Who penetrates secret things, resides in this relic 
and we must bow to His will. Let us only fight against the infidels and bring peace to the 
members of Christ. " 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



[173] The Lance of Christ. 

After this, [the pope] wanted to know about the lance of Christ which had been found, 
and he held an investigation about it. Learned folk testified that the lance with which 
Christ had been pierced had been taken among the Armenians by the apostle Thaddeus. 
This [newly discovered] lance is not that one. Rather, it is the one [used by] the Jews of 
Tiberius on Good Friday, when the Lord was crucified, when they stole a Christian child, 
took him to the desert, and crucified him using nails. Every insult and abuse which those 
impious and deranged Jews visited on Christ, they also visited on this other Christian, 
including a crown of thorns, the purple and red tunic, the beating of his head, the 
spitting and all the other insults [g416] endured by the Lord. They pierced [the child's] 
side with this [second] lance and blood and water flowed from [the wound]. The 
miracles associated with our Lord also took place here: The sun darkened and the earth 
shook. The Christians learned about this and the Jews fled. Then [the Jews] sent a 
message saying that if [the Christians] let them alone, they would turn to Christ. They 
said: "For we believe that the true God, Christ, was crucified by the Jews." [The 
Christians] pardoned them and a multitude of the Jews turned to the Lord, confessing 
their sins. Now this is that lance which the Christians kept and revered which performed 
many miracles and wonders. 

In that period, when the people who had come from Khorasan to Melik-Ghazi had 
returned, there was a severe earthquake in Khorasan on a Friday, which rent the ground 
and swallowed up a mosque with 8,000 men and women who had gathered to pray and 
to hear their sermon. 

In 1455 of the Syrian Era [A. D. 1144], Emperor John of the Byzantines died in Cilicia 
and [g417] his son — the younger [son named] Manuel, who was with him — ruled as 
emperor [Manuel I, 1 143-1 1 80]. He went and took Constantinople and his senior brother 
did not oppose him. In the same year Baldwin, king of Jerusalem, died and his son, 
Baldwin, became king, though since he was a boy, his mother looked after the kingdom. 
In the same year the Artukid Emir Davut, lord of Kharberd, died and his son, 
Qara-Arslan, took power. And Masud captured Ablastan. 



[174] In the year 1456 of the Syrian Era [A. D. 1145], atabeg [Imad ad-Din] Zangi took 
Edessa from Joscelin, though we shall not describe how this occurred, since others have 
written extensively about it. A year after Zangi had taken Edessa, he was slain by Kilij 
and [g418] his principality was taken by his son, Nur ad-Din [Zangi], the lord of Mosul. 

In this period there appeared in Constantinople a heretic who was more wicked than 
Nestorius and other predecessors of ill renown. Furthermore, he had influence with the 
patriarch, many of his colleagues, clerics, and the laity. For they claimed that Christ had 
worked His miracles and the Apostles had convinced conquered the world using 
demons and witchcraft. Many fell in with them and became devil worshippers. When the 
emperor learned about this, he killed many of them, but did not root out that heresy, 
which continues its wickedness in Constantinople to our own day. 

When Joscelin learned about the death of Zangi, he mustered troops and came to Edessa, 
seized it in the night, and entered. When the Turks heard about this they notified one 
another and massed against Edessa and besieged it. The Franks were terrified and, by 
their stupidity, caused the complete destruction of Edessa. They forcibly removed the 
multitude of the Christian people from the city and crossed them to the other side of the 
Euphrates River. The Turks immediately wiped them out. And they say that the number 
slain there reached 30,000 [g419] while 16,000 were taken captive. And thus was Edessa 
destroyed. You may read all about this in detail in [the writings of] other historians. 
However, here we shall mention how and by whom Edessa initially had been built and 
was named. 

After the Flood, King Nimrod (Nebrovf) built and named it Ur'haw Ovre'd. "Ur"' in our 
language means village, and "haw" means Chaldean, thus [the name Urha translates] 
"village of the Chaldeans." In the same way Melk'isedek, son of Ham, built a city in 
Palestine and called it Urishle'm, which translates "village of peace," since according to 
our Syriac language, it was a village and could not be called a city. We pronounce it 
"Jerusalem." Nimrod's construction endured for a long time. They say that Sennacherib 
(Senek'erim) [B.C. 704-681], king of the Assyrians, demolished it and it remained a ruin 
until the days of Alexander the Macedonian [B.C. 356-323]. When Alexander was 
passing through the area, he was pleased by the charm of the place and remarked to his 
friend Seleucus: "Make this [place into] a city." After Alexander's death, Seleucus built 
[a city] there and called it Edessa, which translates from Macedonian as "I love this." [It 
was so named] because Alexander [g420] had said: "I love this. Build it into a city." Now 
the Greeks in their chronological writings call [Edessa] "So'rtu Makedonios" which 
means "Syrian Macedonia." [Dating by] the Syrian Era began from this [period, i.e., the 
reign of Seleucus Nicator]. After 70 years 300 years, King Abgar, Abgarios, king of the 
Armenians and Syrians, son of ArjamArsham, rennovated it, since he found it lacking, 
and bethrothed it to Christ, as a holy queen. 



[175] After [the time of] Abgar and his sons, [Edessa] fell under the rule of the Romans 
with their idol- worship. They ruled it for 300 years. Martyred there were Shmona, Kori, 
Habib, Cosmas, Damiane', the Gurians, and many others with them. Under [the rule of] 
Constantine, monasteries were built on the mountain and Christians multiplied there. The 
impious Julian was unable to make it obedient, nor was the heretic Valens able to 
degrade it with his heresy. [Edessa] bore much grief for the name of Christ. The city 
remained in peace until Marcian [A.D. 450-457], who harassed it because of its 
Orthodoxy but was unable to infect it [with Chalcedonianism] . Later, however, 
[Edessa] became weakened through senseless leadership. [Edessa] came under the rule 
of the Tachiks for 400 years, from [the time of] Caliph 'Umar until the rise of the Turks. 
And in the days of the Tachiks the wall, which had been built by Seleucus, fell down 
[g421]. For a short while [the city] came under the rule of the Franks. Disasters 
multiplied and they mourned the children ofZion. O, alas its destruction! May the Lord 
look upon it and visit it with glad tidings. 

In the year 1459 of the Syrian Era [A. D. 1 148], Paron T'oros came to the country of 
Cilicia from Constantinople having escaped captivity after the death of his father Lewon 
[Lewon I, 1129-1138, d. 1141], whom the Byzantines, in their wickedness, had exiled 
from his homeland of Cilicia which he had taken by bow and sword. [T'oros] came on 
foot to Lord At'anas, metropolitan of the Jacobite Syrians, who gave him his own horse 
and twelve men from among his students. [At'anas] sent him to Amutay which fell into 
his hands at night. The next morning [the residents] saw [T'oros'] standard and realized 
that the mercy of God had been bestowed upon the Christians, and they rejoiced greatly. 
After this, [T'oros'] holdings expanded greatly and he captured many other places. Fear 
of him spread among the Turks and Byzantines, and his renown spread through all lands. 
They say that when he went with 12 horsemen to Raban [g422] to marry Joscelin's 
daughter, he encountered many Turkish cavalry which had enslaved the land and were 
turning back. Strengthened by God, he struck and killed 3,000 of them. The surrounding 
areas and all his enemies trembled because of him — and he turned back, having won a 
name for valor. Then he took Anawarza and gradually the entire country fell under his 
sway. 

Concerning the taking ofHr'omklay. 

[176] In the same period Joscelin went to the monastery of Mor Barsam. [The clerics] 
came out before him carrying crosses and Gospels and led him to the church. [Joscelin] 
made [the place] his fortress and placed troops there. Then he went on to Tell Bashar. 
Now in the same year he fell into the hands of the Turks and was reduced to naught. 
They say that he had gone hunting and his cavalry got separated from him. His horse 
threw him against a tree and he fell to the ground senseless. The Turks found him, took 



him to Aleppo, and sold him to a Jew, unaware [of who he was]. Later on, when they 
learned [his identity], they took him to Nur ad-Din and put him in prison. Then [Nur 
ad-Din] took all his holdings: Azaz, Tell Bashar, Pir, Rabban, Marash, Behesne, Hisn 
Mansur, Samosata, Gargar, Kaght'ayn, and other places. Joscelin was blinded and died 
[in jail]. All that remained was Hromklay where his wife and two daughters were located 
[g423]. Through the providence of God, [Joscelin's wife] had given this [fortress] to the 
kat'oghikos of the Armenians, Lord Grigor, and [the place] became [the kat'oghikofs] 
eternal seat. [Joscelin's] wife had sent to Lord Grigor, kat'oghikos of the Armenians, 
who was at Tsov, for him to come and reside in the fortress [of Hromklay], since she 
wanted to cross the sea and return to her parents. Now she had a son [and she resolved 
that] if he lived and returned [to Hromklay] , [the fortress] would be given to him. 
"Otherwise, " [she said,] "it is better that [Hromklay] belong to you than that the Turks 
take it. " The kat'oghikos went there and remained until Joscelin's son arrived. With 
money, [the kat'oghikos] was able to persuade [Joscelin's son to cede the fortress] , 
and then [Joscelin's son] departed. For he was not sure that he could hold [Hromklay] 
in the midst of the Turks. Through the grace of God, [Hromklay] became their eternal 
see. 

In the same year, one day before [the celebration of the] Resurrection of the Lord, rain 
fell in Palestine having drops of blood mixed with it. In Jerusalem before the month of 
May, the morning dew had the color of blood. This was a sign of the blood of Christians 
which would flow in Jerusalem on its capture. Then, in the summer, in the month of 
June, red snow fell and covered the ground to a depth of two fingers. 

In 1464 of the Syrian Era [A. D. 1153], Baldwin, king of Jerusalem, having achieved his 
majority, wanted to removed his mother as regent of the kingdom. There were some in 
the army with the mother, and they went to the Tower of David, fortified themselves, 
and fought for her together with the Tower. The mother spoke tender reproaches to the 
king through the gates, and the king wept. He took pity and vowed that he would leave 
Jerusalem under his mother's care. [Baldwin], taking his troops, went against Ascalon of 
the Palestinians, and using siege machinery destroyed part of its wall. Twenty thousand 
armed and outfitted Tachiks appeared at the breach and said to one another: "This city is 
the head of the Tachiks. Muhammad was strengthened by it at the beginning of our 
faith. Let us stand firm and die [g424] in it and not see the light of day anywhere but 
here." Four hundred Franks, cavalrymen, went against the 20,000 [Muslims], and all 
were slain by them. The king and his troops were greatly saddened by this and grieved 
bitterly. 

[177] All night the Tachiks attempted to repair the [section of the] collapsed wall, but the 
king's great prince, Sir Renaud [Renaud de Chatillon] labored mightily at the risk of his 



life and did not allow them to do so. Now at dawn the king of Jerusalem took a cross in 
his hand, went close to the wall, and threw it into the city. And he said: "Behold, you 
who are Christians and believe, search for this symbol of Christ which was dyed with the 
blood of God. " The Christians became inflamed with the love of Christ, attacked from all 
sides quicker than lightning, and entered the city. No one knows [if these Franks] were 
even armored. Sixteen thousand people were killed there and many were taken captive. 
A few others got into ships and fled to Egypt. Renaud, who had displayed great bravery 
against the Tachiks, was made prince of Antioch and head of the troops and they gave 
him in marriage the wife of Raymond [de Boadi]. 

In this period the great prince of princes T'oros [T'oros (Theodore) n, 1145-1169], son 
of Lewon, son of Constantine, and great grandson of the royal Ruben [g425] arose and 
went to the Cappadocian country against the Turks, and returned home with the renown 
of a victor. 

Now Sultan Masud, who was one of the sons of the Qaqan [Khaqan/Khagan/Kagan], 
the king of the Turks, was ruling as king in Konya. He had given his daughter as a wife 
to Yakub-Arslan the Danishmendid. The two of them allied and arrogantly planned to go 
to Cilicia. But once they had approached the country, they discovered that it had been 
fortified and was closed in its borders, and ambuscades were guarding the narrow 
passages, and so they turned back in great disgrace. T'oros became even mightier and 
took from the Byzantines the remaining fortresses in the Cilicia country. When [Manuel], 
the emperor of the Byzantines, learned about this, he became furious with Paron T'oros 
and sent the military commander Andronicus with a great mob of troops to Cilicia. Paron 
T'oros arose against him and they fought each other in the area around Tarsus. God 
aided the Armenians, and the Byzantines were defeated before them. The Byzantines 
were defeated and lost 3,000 of their noteworthy troops. The remainder fled by boat. 
The great T'oros took their army and baggage and rejoiced, thanking the Lord who let 
him take vengeance on his enemies. And he imprisoned and then ransomed the 
Byzantine grandees for gold [g426], and he became very wealthy. 

In 1465 of the Syrian Era [A. D. 1154], Zangi's sons in Mosul, Saif ad-Din (Sepadin) 
and Qutb ad-Din Maudud (Xawdbadin) who had pledged to support the caliph, broke 
their oath and allied themselves with the emir of Tekrit in rebelling^rom the caliph. The 
caliph [al-Muqtafi, 1 136-1 160] was furious and came against Mosul, but was unable to 
take it. And so, he turned and went against Tekrit which he gave over to his troops for 
looting. They captured it, took the booty, and then pulled it apart, down to its foundation. 
Subsequently, they gave the fortress to Shems ad-Din (Hasamadin) who was a good and 
philo-Christian man. He quickly rebuilt the city and the churches and remained loyal to 
the caliph. 



[178] In this period Nur ad-Din, lord of Aleppo, went against Damascus and took it with 
an oath, but then destroyed its princes and their patrimonies [in 1 154]. Then he 
demolished its brick wall and rebuilt it with one made of stronger stones. In the same 
year Tumurtash, lord of Mardin, died. He was an Artukid, a good and philo-Christian 
man who, as a result, [rejbuiltt many churches. Now [Timurtash] grew ill [g427] with a 
fatal illness, [so dangerous] that the doctors abandoned hope and left [off treating him] 
and departed. [Timurtash] placed his hopes on the prayers of Christians and sent to the 
monastery of Mor Aba [Iba] and they brought [the relic of the saint's] right hand. When 
they had entered [Timurtash's] home, they saw a fiery man who went and took 
[Timurtash's] hand. And [Timurtash] asked: "Who are you, lord?" [The saint] replied: 
"The Christians sent me [here] so that you would not die." [The saint] restored him and 
then [Timurtash] sat and glorified God, and was made well again. There was great 
comfort for the Christians and the churches throughout his reign, at Mardin, Nisibis, 
Mup'arkin, Rasala, Tara, and at many other places under his sway. Similarly, after his 
death, his sons displayed the same solicitousness for Christians as he had bid them. 
[Timurtash] gave Mardin and Mup'arkin to his senior son, Nejm ad-Din; the city of Xani 
Harran to Jemal ad-Din, another son; and Dara to his youngest son, Shems ad-Din. 

In this period the Byzantine emperor [Manuel] learned that Sultan Masud was on the 
borders of Mesopotamia. In accordance with the hatred [Manuel] had toward all 
Christians, he sent to Sultan Masud and beseeched him with great gifts to enter [g428] 
and ruin the country of Cilicia. [Masud] gathered all the troops of Cappadocia and 
Mesopotamia and, with all preparation, went and entered the country of the Armenians. 
[The Armenians], who had advance knowledge [of Masud's movements], migrated to the 
mountains and secure places and fortified themselves there while the Armenian troops 
took up positions in the mountains. The sultan descended on Tell Hamdun. Then the 
Lord God of the Christians struck them — not with a fiery angel as [He struck] the troops 
of Sennacherib, and not through a woman, as happened to Holophernes. Rather, [God 
afflicted them] by means of tiny creatures: mosquitoes and flies. They say that [God] had 
also used [insects] to punish the ruthless Pharaoh. This was fatal to man and beast. It was 
summertime and men and animals were dying from this, and so [the Muslim troops] 
began to flee. Then the Armenian troops who were fortified in the moutains descended 
and killed many of them. And they took as booty the wealth of the infidels and filled up 
their homes with it, thanking and glorifying God. Then Paron T'oros swiftly arose, 
crossed through the mountains of Xawatane's and struck the Turks dwelling there. He 
returned with many captives and much booty, and with a reputation for glory from 
everyone [g429]. As for Sultan Masud, in great disgrace he escaped the sons of the 
Armenians by a hairsbreadth. He reached Konya where, in a second blow from the Lord, 
he died [A. D. 1155]. 

[179] In 1466 of the Syrian Era [A. D. 1155], Masud's son, Kilij-Arslan, came to rule 



[Kilij-Arslan II, 1 155-1 192]. He had two brothers. One he had secretly strangled he 
killed him using poison, while the other fled to the seacoast and holed up in a fortress his 
father had given him prior to his death. His name was Shahanshah and was a son-in-law 
of the House of Danishmend. Because of this, they were united and his cousin (father's 
brother's son) Yaqub-Arslan laid waste the country of Kilij-Arslan. When Nur ad-Din, 
lord of Aleppo and Damascus heard about this, he took P'arzman and Ant'ap'. Then 
Yaqub-Arslan sent to Nur ad-Din and to Qara-Arslan, lord of Kharberd (Xart'berd), so 
that they would take all of Kilij-Arslan's lands located on their borders in Mesopotamia 
and on the far side of the Euphrates River. However, in planning [g430] the seizure and 
division of the territory, they argued with one another and abandoned [the idea]. 

Now the Tachiks [Arabs] had held Egypt under their sway since the days of the Muslims' 
[conquest], and the Turkish kings were unable to find an entrance. The Turks were 
unable to rule there. Their [Egyptian] caliph descended from the line of 'Ali, just as [the 
caliph] residing in Baghdad descended from the line of Muhammad. 

The Almohads (Abdlmums) in the West: who they were and where they 

came from. 

The caliphs in Egypt were descended from the line of 'Ali until the period of Nur ad-Din, 
and then [that particular branch] ended. They say that following them, after the death of 
the caliph of Egypt, his son, named Abas, wanted to take his father's place. But the 
prince of Egypt did not want this. There was a certain Abdullah who had two sons 
named Abdlmin and Yaqub (Aghub). These two had fallen into adultery with their 
father's wife. Now when the father found out about this, he wanted to kill them [g43 1]. 
They learned about his intent and fled, taking from their father's house two books [on 
magic], named K'emia and Semia. K'emia taught alchemy by which it was possible to 
transform materials into gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls. The Semia taught about 
marvels and talismans with which to astound people. [The brothers, the Almohads,] took 
these books and went to the borders of western Africa and journeyed beyond that. They 
found a land of barbarians, speaking a foreign tongue somewhat resembling French. 
[These people, the Portugese] were poor and lacked learning, literature, and laws. [The 
brothers] adhered to them and built very secure homes on cliffs that were difficult to 
access. 

[180] [The brothers] secretly practised their [magical] craft and received wealth, which 
they liberally distributed. They had many servants who themselves received wealth and 
servants [from the Almohads]. Through their mildness and generosity they attracted the 
natives to their side. They took wives from among them and had sons and they taught 
them writings and the study of astrology and magic. They built fortresses and cities, and 



expanded. Then they [g432] began to teach them their doctrine and creed and convinced 
them [of their truth] using sorcery and they also taught them their own [Arabic] language 
and writing. They grew mighty. They created an army, became stronger, and captured 
many cities. 

After this, [the Almohads] grew even more and went and took the island of Sicily. They 
ruled over many lands and placed the Romans in great straits. They say that it is for this 
reason that the Germans took the imperial honor from the French. This is because Rome, 
being harassed by the Tachiks (Arabs) sent to them [the Germans] so that [the Germans 
would] come and save them from the Tachiks. The French similarly sent [to the 
Germans] beseeching them and saying that if the Lord gave them victory in combating 
the foreigners, they could take the imperial honor. They swore to this. [The Germans], 
placing their faith in God, went against... [lacuna]... destroyed them and made the 
survivors flee. Thus the Germans took the imperial honor. Those Tachiks who now ruled 
over many lands and fortresses, established their own sultan and caliph. They exist to the 
present day. 

In the year 1466 of the Syrian Era [A. D. 1 155], the caliph of Egypt died and the prince 
of Egypt [g433] himself wanted to succeed the caliph. But he was not from the line of 
Ali, and the land did not want him. Rather, they chose a certain Abas who was the son of 
the deceased caliph. Now when Abas saw that the prince did not want to establish him as 
caliph, he seized all the wealth of the House of the caliph. Then he brought out 3,000 
servants of Armenian nationality, armed them, and arose in the night. Taking a Bedouin 
guide, he took the road leading to Nur ad-Din in Damascus. At dawn when the prince of 
Egypt learned about this development, he pursued them with troops. The army of the 
freed Armenian slaves turned and struck the Egyptian troops with severe blows. The 
remaining [Egyptians] fled. Now when they reached Palestine, one of the Bedouins went 
to Jerusalem to notify the Franks and also [the city of] Ascalon and they massed and 
went against them. When Abas saw this, he said to the Armenians: "My sons, strike them 
as you did the Egyptians and I will exalt you greatly." They organized themselves. 
However, when [the Armenians] saw the symbol of the cross [carried] in advance of the 
Frankish troops, they started to weep. They dismounted from their horses and went 
before the cross, worshipping it as though they longed for it. The Franks easily took the 
inestimable wealth [g434], seized Abas, and sold him to the prince of Egypt for a large 
amount of gold. [The prince of Egypt] took [Abas] and hanged him on a wooden pole. 
[The Franks] left the Armenians free to go wherever they wanted, but gave them nothing 
except the clothes they already wore. Thus did they repay with ingratitude those 
Christians who had appealed to Christians, and through whom [the Franks] had acquired 
such a vast amount of wealth. 

[181] In this period Renaud of Antioch, who was called Prince, disputed with Pawn 



T'oros about the fortress in the confines of Sicily, which the Byzantines had taken from 
the Franks. Paron T'oros then [g435] had taken it from the Byzantines. Renaud said: 
"Turn it over to the Freres since they are fighting for the Christians, and this was the first 
fortress they captured." For this reason [the Franks and the Armenians] battled near 
Skandrun and many fell on both sides. Then they parted from each other and Renaud 
returned home in disgrace. Subsequently Paron T'oros agreed and gave a fortress in the 
vicinity ofAntioch to them of his own free will. [The two conflicting sides] vowed that 
they would assist the other to the point of death. And [the Franks] pledged to help the 
Armenians in all their difficulties, even risking their lives. 

In 1468 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1157], Step'ane', who was the brother of Paron T'oros, 
arose and went to the Marash country. At night he entered Marash and placed his troops 
in the homes of Christians, at the urging of a Christian cleric from that city. At daybreak 
[Step'ane'] took the city and slaughtered the Turks. Then the Christians waxed proud, 
insulted the citadel guards, and publicly disgraced the Turks' women. The Lord became 
angry and did not give the citadel into their hands. And so, [Step'ane's troops] burned the 
city, took the Armenians the Christians living there, and entered the country. However, 
the emir of Marash seized the cleric who had secretly brought those troops into the city, 
flayed him alive, and then burned [his body] with fire [g436]. 

In the same year Renaud, lord ofAntioch, after conferring with Paron T'oros, with the 
assistance and aid of T'oros, took his troops and went against the island of Cyprus. This 
resulted from two causes. First, it was due to a grudge held by the emperor of the 
Byzantines who was always inciting the foreigners to destroy the Armenians; and second, 
because the Greeks of Cyprus were killing Armenians and Franks. Thus Renaud went 
and captured the entire island and looted it. He led people and livestock to the shore, 
counted them, and fixed ransom amounts on all of them. Then he left them, taking along 
with him as hostages the bishop, priests, and qzats, and numerous hostages and wealthy 
folk until they should receive their ransoms. Now Step'ane' seized a Turk from Pertous 
and demanded its fortress. And [the Turk] replied: "If you vow that you will let us live, 
we will surrender Pertous." And [Step'ane'] so vowed by the Cross and the Gospel that 
he would send them safely to Aleppo. They gave Pertous to him and he removed them to 
depart in peace. Now some of those taking them heard the Turks threaten [g437] thusly: 
"We will again arm, return, and ruin this land." This was related to Paron Step'ane'. 
Paron Step'ane' asked the clerics and they said: "If they are so threatening, then you are 
released from your oath." And so he sent after [the Turks] and destroyed them. When all 
the foreigners heard about this, they were embittered against the Christians and 
consequently posed enormous danger. 

[182] In this year the senior sultan of Khorasan, Masud, died. He did not have a [grown] 
son, only a tiny child as a successor. As a result, a certain emir named Eltkuz acted as 



locum tenens. [Eltkuz] took the sultan's wife, the baby's mother, for his own wife, and, 
after a few days, the child died. Thus the sultanate was Eltkuz's. Perhaps an heir would 
be born of the same woman. In any case, Eltkuz, who had been atabeg of the first child, 
became sultan, even though he continued to be styled atabeg. Moreover, thereafter the 
kings of Khorasan, Nineveh, and Mesopotamia to Mosul, and Aran were called atabegs 
and their clans, the house of the atabeg(s). Similarly those who had been kings in 
Cappadocia, who were under Eltkuz's sway, were styled atabegs, they who had been 
called Qaqans and Saljukids. The Danishmends also were not full kings. Now since 
Kilij-Arslan and Qara-Arslan, lord ofSewast, were disputing with each other, Paron 
Step'ane' emerged and ruined both their countries. 

In 1469 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1158] [g438], Kilij-Arslan established friendship with 
Qara-Arslan, lord of Sewast. He came to the Mesopotamian country and took the places 
which his father previously had seized. He made friendship with Paron T'oros and 
Step'ane', and there was peace. 

In this year [Beaudon/Baldwin EI], the king of Jerusalem, went to Antioch, assembled 
troops^rora the Armenians, and then went and took Herim, enslaving destroying as far 
as Aleppo. Then he turned back. In this period discord arose between Kilij-Arslan and 
Qara-Arslan, and Paron Step'ane' endlessly ruined both their lands. Then some folk went 
to Paron T'oros and slandered his brother [Step'ane'], saying: "Your brother wants to kill 
you." [T'oros] believed them, seized his brother, and imprisoned him for ten months. 
Then, after the intercession of many people, he removed him from prison, and the two 
dwelled affectionately with each other. 

Kilij-Arslan took Tanum, the emir of Caesarea, a man who was dear to him, and 
removed him from [allegiance to] Qara-Arslan. This became the start of the collapse of 
the House of the Danishmendids [g339]. 

[183] In 1470 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1159], the Tachiks who are called Almohads 
(Abdlmumnik') advanced as far as Spain and began raiding. Arising against them were 
the troops of the Franks, and warfare was prolonged for a year. 

Now Manuel, emperor of the Byzantines, finding the moment opportune, came to the 
Cilician country issuing threats against Paron T'oros. T'oros and his troops evaded him 
and went into the mountains. Manuel subdued the plainslands, going as far as Antioch. 
But then he received the bad tidings that one of his military commanders wanted to reign 
in his place. Thus he quickly turned around and departed, having made peace with Paron 
T'oros and Step'ane'. He sent to Kilij-Arslan requesting a [transit] route, and the latter 
granted it. Despite this, many of his troops were destroyed, openly and clandestinely. He 
reached [g440] Constantinople and was unsuccessful in carrying out the strategem he 



had devised. But when Manuel saw the diminution of his troops caused by the Turks, he 
dispatched other troops to wreck whichever districts of the Turks that they could. Thus 
there were wars between the Byzantines and the Turks. When Nur ad-Din learned what 
was happening, he massed troops against Kilij-Arslan's districts and captured Behesne, 
Raban, and Marash, as well as monasteries and much else. 

In 1471 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1160], Yacub-Arslan and Nur ad-Din made peace with 
Sultan Kilij-Arslan and returned the lands they had taken from him. In the same year the 
troops at Aleppo seized Joscelin's son, Joscelin, lord of Hermin, who died in captivity in 
Aleppo. There was great joy at Aleppo, for he had greatly harassed the Aleppo country 
because of his father's grudge. He was put into fetters and died there. 

A year later they destroyed Parisha village in the Hermin country. Armenians lived there. 
They were killed or led into captivity. 

In this year Baldwin, king of Jerusalem, arose and took Damascus with its borders and 
Ptoyik' which had been under the sway of Nur ad-Din. They settled in the Phoenician 
country. Then [this area] [g441] rebelled from Nur ad-Din and went under Frankish rule. 
Taking them, [the Franks] went into the Egyptian desert where they acquired an 
extremely large amount of booty and captives. They placed as tax on them 160,000 
dahekans and then returned to Jerusalem in great glory. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

[184] In this period King Ge'orgi of Georgia attacked Emir Saltux who resided at Karin 
city. [Ge'orgi] seized and ransomed him. And he took the city of Ani. Again a multitude 
of Turks assembled against Ge'orgi and they destroyed a thousand thousands and 
myriads upon myriads of them. 

In 1472 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1161], a war took place between Kilij-Arslan and 
Yaqub-Arslan over Saltux's daughter. The sultan had wanted to marry her. She was given 
in marriage to the lord of Melitene, with the approval of Yaqub-Arslan. Then the sultan 
[Kilij-Arslan] massed troops against him. Yaqub-Arslan came out against him and waxed 
strong against the sultan. He defeated him and caused him to flee and seized his dwelling 
place with its golden furniture and all its [g442] appointments. But he was magnanimous 
and returned all that he had taken and sought his friendship. They made peace and 
remained at peace with one another. 

In the same period the king of Jerusalem was informed that Girard, lord of Sidon (Sayit) 
had organized ships full of pirates on the sea and was mercilessly killing Christians and 
Tachiks, but he was harming Christians more than Turks. Consequently, [the king] 
became angry with him, took Sidon, and chased him out. [Girard] then went to Prince 
the lord of Antioch, who gave Baghras to him. But he did not stop his evil doings on sea 
or on land, and he did very great harm. Now when they the Prince learned about this, 
they also took Baghras from him. And then [Girard] went to Nur ad-Din, who was 
delighted, since [Girard] had promised that he would make the entire coast his. [Nur 
ad-Din] gave him troops and [Girard] went and entered the Franks' territory where he 
began to loot and destroy the Christians and to corrupt the shore. The Franks massed 
troops and, invoking the name of Christ, went against [Girard], arresting this source of 
evil and also killing Turkish troops. [Girard], that vessel [g443] of Satan, was taken to 
Jerusalem and burned in the fire and thus his evil ended. 

In these days Manuel, emperor of the Byzantines, killed his wife with poison because of 
her barrenness. Then he took the daughter of Prince the lord of Antioch as a second 
wife, which was outside the lawyer Christians. 

[185] In 1473 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1162], Tugh-Arslan, emir of Melitene, died and 



his son, a ten-year-old boy, sat in his father's place. When Yaqub-Arslan heard about this, 
he came against Melitene and besieged it. However, he was unable to take it, and so he 
left troops there and departed. Now Qara-Arslan, the lord of Kharberd, did much to 
receive the fugitives from the district of Melitene. But afterwards Yaqub-Arslan turned 
from his anger toward the boy who had become emir — who was his brother's son — and 
made peace with him, and left the land of Melitene to him. Now in this period Kilij- 
Arslan learned from slanderers that Yaqub-Arslan, united with many emirs, planned to 
depose him from his throne, kill him, and install his brother in his stead. He was 
frightened, believed this, and sent his chancellor Christopher to [Emperor] Manuel to 
seek aid and good will from him and [approval] that [Kilij-Arslan] be allowed to go to 
him in Constantinople. Manuel was delighted [g444] and swore an oath [guaranteeing his 
safety]. And so the sultan, with 1,000 cavalry, went to Manuel in Constantinople where 
he was received with great honor. He remained there for eighty days and was so honored 
that twice each day they sent him dishes and bowls of gold and silver all of which 
remained with the sultan and were not taken back. On the final day [of his stay] they ate 
in a certain chamber, and all its appointments were given to the sultan. Whe he wanted to 
depart, he stood in the palace and was covered with gold to his height. [Emperor 
Manuel] also gave [Kilij-Arslan] his troops and he departed and hired many other troops 
from among the Turks. All the emirs of Mesopotamia with their troops assembled by 
Yaqub-Arslan and arose to make war against him. But when they approached each other, 
both were frightened at the multitude [opposing them]. They made peace and dispersed 
to their own places. 

In that period Prince Andronicus who was Greek and was in Cilicia atManue's order 
summoned Paron Step'ane' to honor him with a meal. Now as [Step'ane'] departed and 
was returning home, he [g445] and those with him were treacherously slain. Some say 
that he was stewed in a copper pot. Then Paron T'oros, transported with rage, went 
against the Byzantines and killed more than 10,000 of them, it is said. Andronicus swore 
that he had not been the cause of his brother's slaying and he beseeched the king of 
Jerusalem to come and make peace, promising him much gold from Constantinople. The 
king [Baldwin III, 1 143-1 163] consented. He came and begged Paron T'oros about his 
brother Step'ane' and [the Cilician Armenians] stopped fighting with the Byzantines. 
After this Paron T'oros took Anawarza and T'il. 

In this period, Ge'orgi, king of the Georgians, took Dvin and killed the Persians in it. And 
he pulled down the minaret which the Persians had built with the blood and bones of 
Christians [g446]. 

[186] In these days Reynald [of Chatillon, 1153-1160], lord of Antioch, was seized by 
Nur ad-Din's troops, with 120 horsemen and 500 infantrymen in an ambush as he was 
travelling in the Aleppo country. He displayed many examples of valor there and, were it 



not for the fact that he was protecting his infantry, he could have fled easily. But his heart 
was enflamed and he halted. After many fights, he gave himself into the hands of the 
Turks. They took him to Nur ad-Din in Aleppo. And this occasioned great sorrow for 
the Christians in the churches and great joy for the Turks, for around the same time [the 
Turks] invaded [the territory of] Laodicea whence they led into slavery 7,000 Christians. 
Now when [Baldwin/Baudoin III], the king of Jerusalem, heard about this he went there 
but was unable to do anything about [the captives] . He made peace with Aleppo. Then 
he turned to go back to Jerusalem. However, when he reached Acre (Akka/Ptolemais) he 
died. His kingdom was given to his brother Amalric/Amaury [I, 1 163-1 174] in 1474 of 
the Syrian Era [A.D. 1 163]. The latter [g447] took his brother's body back to Jerusalem 
and buried it there. And they mourned him for many days. He had ruled for 1 9 years. 
Then Nur ad-Din enterd the Jerusalem country, laid waste to it, took booty and captives, 
and departed. But then Amalric/Amaury (Emeria) pursued [Nur ad-Din's troops], caused 
them to flee, killed many of them, retook the booty and captives, and turned back. 

In the same year Yaqub-Arslan subdued Tanu, who was his brother's son, and who had 
rebelled in Armenian Caesarea. Then he went on to Kama, which is Ani Kamax, and 
killed the rebel emir who was there. 

That same year Qara-Arslan went to Amida, but was unable to take it. He returned to 
Hasankef and summoned Yaqub-Arslan in friendship. However, the latter thought that 
[Qara-Arslan] was deceiving him, and so he angrily went against [Yaqub-Arslan's] 
territory with many troops. He seized Mshkatsak (? Ch'mshkatsag) and enslaved 100,000 
10, 000 people from his lands as well as two bishops, Lord Ignatius and Lord Dionysius. 
Later they got free. 

Now after the capture of Renald, his wife ruled Antioch. Then Paron [g448] T'oros went 
there and established Renald's son, Bohemond, as prince of Antioch, against the mother's 
wishes. 

In these times Nur ad-Din massed troops and went and captured the Tripoli country. 
They encountered 300 Frankish cavalry and did not recognize them. Rather, the Turks 
throught that the king of Jerusalem had arrived. They abandoned what they had seized 
and fled. The Franks [pursued and] cut them down until they reached a certain open 
place. Then, when the Franks saw the multitude of Kurds, they realized that it was Nur 
ad-Din. Terrified, they ascended a hill, dismounted from their horses, kneeled down and 
prayed their final prayer, seeing death approaching them. Now when the Turks saw them 
praying, fear of the Lord came upon them and they fled casting off their armor and 
leaving their equippage behind. Taking heart, the Christ-loving troops pursued and cut 
down a great multitude of them myriads and thousands of them ...[lacuna] with the 
power of Christ. The Christians loaded up with [the enemies'] furniture and 



belongings, delightedly praising Christ our God. As for Nur ad-Din, he escaped by a 
hairsbreadth with a few troops. 

[187] In the same year Yaqub-Arslan went to She'ran-shah, the sultan's brother, and was 
returning home [g449] happily. But he died when he reached Gangra on the Halys River. 
The troops hurried to enthrone Ismail, Sultan Yaqub's brother's son, and they forged 
unity with Tanu, the emir of Caesarea. However, the troops that were in Ablastan 
enthroned [as sultan] Mahmud's son, Mahmud [Mahdi]. And there was great disorder in 
the House ofDanishmend. 

During the same year the king of Jerusalem [Amalric/Amaury] went to Egypt to collect 
taxes. The Egyptians were divided into two [groups] — half were obedient to the king of 
Jerusalem, and half pridefully placed their hopes on Nur ad-Din. [This latter group] sent 
to Nur ad-Din to help them. Nur ad-Din sent troops under his military commander 
Shirkou (Sherak'aw) to their aid. They went against the king of Jerusalem and were 
betrayed to destruction by the wrath of God, Who put them to the sword of the king of 
Jerusalem. After this, Amalric descended on the city of Belbes [and besieged it] for five 
[or, seven] months. When he heard that [g450] Nur ad-Din was besieging Herim with 
the entire multitude of the Turks, he abandoned Belbes and headed there. The king 
[Amalric] wrote to them with this advice: "Under no circumstances come forth from 
your city until I arrive. " However, prior to his arrival, [Nur ad-Din] had already taken 
Herim because of the stupidity of the Frankish troops who did not heed his wise advice 
which he had written to them — that they should not come forth against the Turks until 
his arrival. Rather, [the besieged] massed, emerged, and drove the Turks away from the 
city. Then they remained out in the open, heedlessly. But the Turks came back against 
them when they were unawares, killed them, and took the city. They took into captivity 
the prince of Antioch [Bohemond III, 1163-1201] and many other notables. 

In 1466 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1155] Sultan Kilij-Arslan became strong and took 
Katuk, Ablastan, and Taranda which were in the hands of Tanu, and he chased out the 
sons of Danishmend. 

[188] Regarding Paron T'oros and Saladin; and about the questions of 
Lord Nerse's and the examination of the faith and about the expression 
of two natures [of Christ] 

In this year Paron T'oros sent gold and silver to Aleppo to ransom those of his princes 
who were in captivity there. They took the gold but did not release the captives. T'oros 
was furious and issued threats against Nur ad-Din and he himself arose and went to the 
Marash country which he looted. A multitude of Turks massed against him and he struck 



them with the strength of the Lord and captured many of them, including a notable and 
principal man [g451]. Nur ad-Din became frightened of him and sent him [the captives] 
he had sought. And he requsted peace with him. Then the Franks spoke up and reqested 
the Prince [of Antioch]. [Nur ad-Din] ransomed him to them for 100,000 dahekans. The 
prince arose and went to Constantinople to his sister and returned with an immense 
treasure. He brought along the Greek patriarch of Antioch who was named Athanasius 
[VII, Bar Qutreh, 1 138-1 166] and established him at Antak. When the patriarch of the 
Franks, who was named Hermes, saw this he quit the city and went and sat in Xawsayr. 
And he excommunicated the city. 

In 1477 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1166] Emperor Manuel went against the Bulghars, was 
defeated by them, and was seized by a man who wanted to take him to their king. 
[Manuel] made him a very grand promise of wealth if he would let him go and 
accompany him to Constantinople. The man consented, turned around, released [the 
emperor], and then took him to Constantinople. And Manuel fulfilled his promise there. 

Egypt then was under the sway of Nur ad-Din, and Shirk'aw ruled over them. In 1478 
of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1167], [Amalric/Amaury], the king of Jerusalem, again went to 
Egypt where he defeated the troops of Nur ad-Din in Msr. Then he returned to 
Jerusalem. Hearing that the Tachiks had started to harass Christians in Egypt, he went a 
third [g452] time to Egypt. Sherak'aw, who was in Msr, arose against him and again was 
defeated and fled. [Amalric] killed, captured, looted, and reduced their strength. And 
then the king of Jerusalem took Msr and there was great joy among Christians. Then all 
of Egypt became tributary to Jerusalem. 

In this year the emir of Kharberd, Qara-Arslan, died. His son, Nur ad-Din, ruled. 

In 1479 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1168], Andronicus the Greek, the slayer of Pawn 
Step'anne', who was first cousin (father's brother's son) of Emperor Manuel, fled from 
Cilicia and went to Acre, since his cousin [Theodora] (brother's daughter) — widow of the 
deceased king of Jerusalem — was there. And he became trustee of her House. That 
impious man fell into incest with his own brother's daughter. She became pregnant and 
the evil was thus revealed. They fled to Harran where the wicked birth took place. The 
Turks loathed the Christians when they learned about this affair. [Andronicus] sent on to 
Mardin, but they did not receive him. Thence he went to the city of Karin (Erzerum) and 
[g453] got Turkish troops, with which he captured Christians and brought and sold them 
to the infidels. 

[189] In this same year the great prince of princes Paron T'oros died [d. 1 169], having 
lived a life of venerable glory with great triumphs. Close to the end of his life he donned 
clerical garb and passed to Christ with great expectations. May his memory be blessed in 



Christ in the Orthodox churches. He gave the kingdom to his son who was an extremely 
young child, entrusting him to the princes. Now Paron T'oros had a brother named 
Mleh, a perverse and cruel man, in whom he had no confidence. T'oros gave nothing to 
him, knowing his wickedness, since prior to his death [Mleh] had gone to Nur ad-Din 
and had given Cyrrhus (Kuria) to him. Moreover, [Mleh] had done many evil things to 
Christians with the assistance of the infidels. He had stolen Vanawer from the Armenians 
and mercilessly enslaved believers in Christ. I am unable to put in writing all the 
calamities he caused. 

After these events, the Armenian princes and T'omas, the child's guardian, extracted an 
oath from him [Mleh] that he would not deprive his brother's son and [in exchange for 
which] they gave him half the country if he would quit the place. [Mleh] so vowed, but 
he did not keep that vow. Instead [g454] he grew stronger, doing very great evils, and 
came to rule over the entire country. [The baby's guardian] fled with the child to 
Hromklay and nursed him there. 

In 1480 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1169] the kingdom of the Tachiks (Arabs) ended in 
Egypt. It had begun [in the time of] 'Umar in 949 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 638] and 
ended as a result of a schism between two sectarian factions. [One group,] the Tachiks of 
Egypt, the R'ap'tik' who are the Shiites (Shexik') argued that there is only one God Who 
is not the author of evil, for God is one while evils are numerous. Satan [to them] is the 
source of evil. The other group who were in Assyria and Mesopotamia said that evil and 
sins also derive from God. They are called Sunnis (Salsabik'). As a result [of these 
doctrinal differences, the two groups] hated each other. Both groups were in Egypt, the 
Sunnis were under the Franks, while the Shiites were under Nur ad-Din. Nur ad-Din sent 
a messenger to both sides to the Sunnis and promised freedom to all of them if they 
would support him [g455] and cease paying taxes to the Franks and he would help their 
faith. They heeded him and went under the sway of the Turks and cut off the taxes that 
went to the king of Jerusalem. They fortified Belbeis and stationed there 12,000 cavalry 
and 200,000 infantry. When the king of Jerusalem heard about this, he went and took 
Belbeis and generally killed everyone except the Christians. 

Shawur, who was ruling over Msr, burned the city and went with the multitude [of its 
inhabitants] to the city of Cairo (Xarhe') which he fortified. He sent Sherak'aw to Nur 
ad-Din to inform him of what had happened. Meanwhile, the king of Jerusalem returned 
[home] with much booty. Nur ad-Din sent the military commander Sherak'aw to Egypt 
with 100,000 cavalry. When he arrived, he killed the prince of the Tachiks [named 
Shawer]. Then he seized the [Fatimid] caliph and killed him, and exterminated his 
House, and he himself ruled. And thus was the rule and the caliphate of the Tachiks 
[Fatimids] eliminated in Egypt, while [g456] the race of the Turks ruled thereafter. 



[190] Sherak'aw died after three years and his principality was taken by Yusup', that is, 
Saladin, the brother's son of Sherak'aw. As to who [these people] were, I will now relate. 
They were of Kurdish nationality from the city of Dvin in Greater Armenia, sons of poor 
folk. [Saladin's] father was called Ayyub. This Ayyub, son of Sulaiman, and his brother, 
Sherak'aw, left Dvin because of poverty, and went to Tikrit in Mesopotamia. [The 
people] took them into the fortress as domestics. One night Ayyub saw [in a dream] that 
fire arose from his body and burned many lands. He related the dream to a Jew who 
interpreted it for him to mean that he would father a son who would rule ruin many 
lands. Then [Ayyub] wrote a statement that if his dream should be realized, then that son 
of his who would rule would give [the Jew] and his sons yearly a thousand red [ducats]. 
The Jew wrote down the time and year. That same year Yusup' was born. When he grew 
up, Sherak'aw, who was his uncle (father's brother) took him and went to Nur ad-Din. 
Sherak'aw was a progressive and wise person and successful in everything and so Nur 
ad-Din made him a military commander and sent him to Egypt. Although [Sherak'aw] 
was defeated by the king of Jerusalem twice, [Nur ad-Din] had him rule over Egypt. As 
for Saladin, who was Yusup', he was skillful and found favor in Nur ad-Din's eyes. After 
the death of his uncle [g457] [Nur ad-Din] sent [Aladin] in his place. As for that Jew, he 
came to Ayyub and asked for the gold. Ayyub said to him: "Come, let us go to the one 
who is reigning, and he will give it to you." And so the two of them went to Egypt where 
they sought [payment] from Yusup'. [Saladin] asked the Jew: "How many years have 
passed since the dream [you interpreted]?" [The Jew] had the document with the date on 
it, which he took out and showed to him. And [Saladin] paid him a thousand red 
dahekans for each year which had passed. The Jew delightedly returned to his home in 
Tigrit. After a short while [Saladin's] father fell from a horse, was kicked in the head, 
and died. He was buried with honor. Then Yusup' (Saladin) went and grew stronger, 
advancing day by day. 

In the same year Kilij-Arslan took Caesarea and Tsamndav from the sons of 
Danishmend. Meanwhile Yusup' (Saladin) issued an order in Egypt that Christians must 
always appear in public wearing a [distinguishing] belt as a sign of servitude, and that 
they could not mount a horse or mule. 

[191] In the same year the Nestorian bishop in Baghdad seized a church of the Orthodox 
Jacobites, but the wrath of the Lord fell upon him and he immediately returned the 
church to its rightful owners. In these days the blessed Yakob, who had become bishop 
and was called Dionysius, distinguished himself by the splendor of divine grace and the 
glory of his teachings. He was [g458] the son of Salib, a righteous man. He produced 
many books of advice and religion and interpreted the entire Old and New Testaments. 
Miracles and wonders were effected by him to the glory of Christ our God. 

In 1481 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1170] the Byzantine emperor Manuel sent to Lord 



Nerse's, kat'oghikos of the Armenians [Nerses IV Klayets'i (Shnorhali), 1166-1173] and 
to me, Michael, patriarch of the Syrians — who wrote this compilation — about unifying 
the religion and doctrine [of our Churches]. This was done first via a certain 
Christaphor, and then a second time via T'orian a philosopher. Lord Nerse's wrote to us 
that "they want us to proclaim two natures in Christ, to honor the Fourth Council [of 
Chalcedon], to hold Christmas on December 25th, to mix yeast with the [communion] 
wafer, and to mix water with the wine in the chalice, and, in speaking of Holy God, not 
to say 'Who Was crucified' [in the Trisagion]. In exchange for [these changes] he would 
do many good things for us. What reply should I makeT 

I wrote back [to Nerse's]: 

" What they are asking for indeed is our faith, with the exception of 
[accepting] the two natures, the Fourth Council and their formulation of the 
Trisagion. The faith which you hold is close to our own. I cannot alter the true 
faith of your Fathers either in great or small issues of doctrine. For that would 
indicate that until now your faith had been defective but now, with these 
changes, it had become correct. We should not now, at the eleventh hour, 
change our faith to gain their adulation. Rather, we see [your faith] as based 
on [g459] an Apostolic foundation, lacking nothing and without defects. You 
yourselves know this. " 

We sent [to Kat'oghikos Nerse's] one of our own students named E"nt'er'ine', who was 
skilled in secular knowledge, to speak on our behalf, since they [the Armenians] lacked 
anyone so skilled in philosophy. We had heard that the man who had come from the 
emperor was skilled in secular knowledge. Our student arrived there. The great 
kat'oghikos of the Armenians ordered him to discourse before him with T'oriane' about 
the natures [of Christ]. Our student asked the Byzantine: "How many parts is nature 
divided into?" He replied: "Two." [The student] asked: "What are they?" T'oriane' 
answered: "Personal and impersonal." Then [the student] asked him: "As for the two 
natures which you speak about and demand that we recognize, which are they, personal 
or impersonal?" The Byzantine, embarassed, was silent for many hours and was 
confused feeling that he had become entangled in an inextricable trap. Finally he said: 
"Let us skip this matter, for what does our discourse have to do with the categories of 
secular philosophy?" The kat'oghikos lambasted him, saying: "Why do you evade the 
issue, you who have come here as a champion [debater]? Are you afraid to speak of two 
natures in secular philosophy but not in theological literature? As for what you have 
advanced, it is nonsense and we will never accept it. " And so, after many days of 
discussion, the so-called philosopher T'o'riane' was embarassed [g460]. 

[192] [Emperor] Manuel also wrote to us requesting [a statement of] doctrine, which we 



wrote and sent. They expressed satisfaction with this and again wrote to us, praising [our 
formulation]. However, they beseeched us to go to them [in Constantinople] so that they 
might hear these words from our own mouth. We declined this invitation and instead 
wrote that 

"This is our profession of the faith: we glorify Christ — according to the 
Apostles, Prophets, and our Orthodox Fathers — as having one nature and one 
will and operation, an operation indivisible in every act of His life. We remain 
steadfast on this foundation. If someone is willing to make peace and 
friendship with us according to this doctrine, we too are ready for it. But if, 
instead, someone wishes to hate and fight and persecute us for the faith 
transmitted to us from our ancestors, then we will persist in our belief. We will 
offer our necks [to the sword] as martyrs to this [faith] as our ancestors did." 

The great kat'oghikos [of the Armenians] also made answer according to his wisdom, 
although we did not see [his response] in full. We do not know what response Lord 
Nerse's made, but he was a man well versed in Scripture, an honest and industrious 
man who followed the blessed Orthodox canons, resembling his ancestor, Saint Nerse's. 
But we do know this, that the Lord obstructed the emperor's efforts to try to put the 
Chalcedonian issue before us, because Manuel became greatly occupied with the Turks 
[g461]. The great Nerse's, kat'oghikos of the Armenians, died at this time [A.D. 1173] 
adorned with virtue after a life of modest behavior. And thus the faith which we had 
received from our fathers remained steadfast on its foundations, saved from the gates of 
Hell by the prayers, blood, and tears of our fathers. 

In the same year, 1481 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1170], the king of Jerusalem 
[Amalric/Amaury] requested aid from the emperor of the Byzantines, who was his 
father-in-law. [The emperor] sent many troops, who went against Egypt by sea. But 
when the Byzantines reached Egypt, they betrayed the king of Jerusalem in accordance 
with their treacherous nature, and wanted to take Egypt for themselves. The Egyptians 
informed the king about what the Byzantines were planning, and they gave him [g462] 
gold and hostages to pay the tax, for Saladin (Yusup') was not yet ready to wage war 
against the king of Jerusalem. The lord of Egypt, Saladin (Yusup') gave him the tax that 
was due and they promised to give hostages subsequently. The king accepted this, and 
[his forces] took the gold and the hostages and turned back, leaving the Byzantines there. 
The latter did not dare to remain [in Egypt] and so they boarded ships to go home. But 
winter came upon them and many were lost at sea. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

[193] Regarding the earthquake which occurred on June 29th and 
about how snow fell to a depth of 25 fiz flength of a palm (four inches); 
about 8.3 feet] in the month of the Cross. 

In the same year [A.D. 1 170] a frightful earthquake occurred, during the summer, on 
June 29th, during the feast of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul. [This took place] at the 
third hour while mass was being offered. The earth rocked at its foundations and it 
seemed that the ground rose and fell and roiled until the ninth hour. At the time [of the 
earthquake] we were in the monastery of Mor Hana and we fell upon our face and then 
ordered that no one should leave the church until this wrath of the Lord had ceased. It is 
worth noting that, in truth, no one expected [the earthquake] to end, for everyone 
believed that the end of the world had come. But at the ninth hour of the day God 
remembered [g463] concern for His creation and stabilized the ground. Then we took 
heart and came to our senses, and one could see tears in the eyes of everyone and hear 
every tongue blessing and praising God. Then news arrived from Aleppo that the wall 
and the fortress had collapsed and that rents in the ground had swallowed many people, 
that the ground had torn asunder and the city had become filled with black water, that 
countless multitudes had died in it, and that all buildings there had collapsed with the 
exception of a single church. 

This was the righteous judgement of God seeking vengeance for the blood of Christians, 
since Christian people were being sold like animals there and the blood of Christians was 
shed as though it were water. Moreover, [the Christians there] were being killed 
insatiably as though [the slayers] would find treasure. [Through divine wrath] the 
Christians and their opponents were killed in equal measure. Yet no one believed in the 
unquenchable fires that were awaiting them. Indeed [the doubters asked] why no 
punishment had been visited upon them as had been the case with the deeds done at 
Sodom or the giants who had been drowned for their iniquity. And so, many 
shortsighted people doubted the judgement of God. [Let us] not mention the deeds of 
Sodom and the impiety of the giants who were destroyed by the Flood. [There was such 
iniquity there] that many despaired of a judgement from God, seeing their manifold evils. 

[194] And so it was also in Antioch, for many buildings collapsed and the church of the 



Greeks collapsed on top of those offering mass. [The church of] Saint Peter also 
collapsed. The Prince [of Antioch] and the entire city donned sackcloth and all the 
inhabitants of the city went and fell [on their knees] before their [exiled] patriarch so that 
he would [re]enter the city, since they thought that this [disaster] was the result of his 
banning. But he replied: "Unless the false patriarch of the Greeks leaves, disgraced, I will 
not enter." Then the people went to evict [the Greek patriarch] and found him close to 
death in the collapsed church, pierced through for a stone had fallen on him. And then 
[the Latin patriarch] ordered [g466] that he be picked up, placed on a litter, and thrown 
out [of the city] which, in fact, was done. And he died outside the city, dishonored, and 
then the patriarch of the Franks, Herim, entered. 

Then we began to rebuild the devastated places. Throughout the land there were, 
likewise, many fortresses, churches, cities, and villages which had been ruined and 
destroyed by this strange and unheard of earthquake. However, by the mercy of Christ, 
in Antioch and in all the coastal areas the churches of the Orthodox were spared — not 
because of our good deeds, but because of the prayers of our holy fathers and their 
martyrdoms. 

In 1482 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1171] Qutb-din (Xudbadin), atabeg of Mosul and all 
Assyria, died. His brother, Nur ad-Din, heard about this and went to Nisibis and took 
[the city] without warfare. Similarly, he took Anjar Sendjar. Now the fakirs were 
overjoyed saddened since they loved him Qutb-din as a man who kept the faith, did not 
drink wine, and never failed to say the designated prayers. Moreover, they claimed that 
he was a prophet. He, to the delight [g465] of the Turks and Tachiks, loathed Christians 
and had their newly-built churches demolished. Meanwhile Caliph Mustanjid 
[1 160-1 170] had died and his son, Mustadi [1 170-1 180] held the honor. The latter 
banned the destruction of churches for the following reason. Nur ad-Din wrote to him 
when [al-Mustadi] had become the new caliph, saying: "The decree of the Prophet 
Muhammad has expired, [the one] which says that for 500 years the Lord does not want 
the Christians destroyed. Now that the [allotted] years have expired, it is incumbent upon 
us to destroy Christianity." By the influence of God he wrote [the following passage] in 
that letter: "Order me to come to you so that we may confer on this matter." Now when 
[the caliph] saw the letter and understood its contents, it occurred to him that [Nur 
ad-Din] might come to him treacherously to kill him and take for himself the office of 
caliph, just as he had eliminated the caliphate in Egypt at his command through 
Shirak'aw. For this reason [Caliph al-Mustadi] wrote [to Nur ad-Din] a very severe reply 
and reprimanded him. Then he sent all over his realm saying that [Christians] should 
build churches and monasteries and hold Christianity and study it fearlessly [g466] 
everywhre. He did this in opposition to Nur ad-Din who did not allow the construction 
of churches and monasteries, and he summoned and killed the Vezier (Ozir) who 
supported Nur ad-Din. He also freed from prison the sons of T'umay and returned to 



them their church which he had taken unjustly. 

[195] Then Nur ad-Din went and besieged Mosul where five seven of his brother's sons 
dwelled. Realizing that it would require a long time to take the city, he spoke to his 
nephews about peace and swore that he would leave the city and country to them if they 
would open the city gates and admit him peacefully. They heeded him and brought him 
into the city. [Nur ad-Din] went up to the citadel, took all the treasures it contained, 
removed them from the city, and placed his own men in the citadel, to hold it in his 
name. And he divided up the city and the land among his nephews. However, all the 
fortresses he put under his own control. Then he departed. Thereafter, he started to 
increase the tax on Christians and ordered that Christians should not let their hair grow 
long should cut their hair so that they be recognizable. He also ordered the Jews to sew 
a red patch on their turbans or right shoulders, so that they be recognizable. 

In this period Amaury/Amalric, the king of Jerusalem, went to Constantinople [g467] 
and returned to Jerusalem laden with great treasures. 

In 1483 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1 172], Kilij-Arslan came to Melitene but was unable to 
take it. He took captive 12,000 people and departed. Now Nur ad-Din assembled all the 
emirs, Ishmael the Danishmendid, and Shahnshah, Kilij-Arslan's brother, and went to 
Caesarea. The sultan did not want to come out against him and they sent to him 
[demanding] that he give up his brother's portion from his lands. Now it happened that 
five seven of Shahnshah's sons were with him there. [The ruler of Caesarea] took and 
roasted one of those sons, and sent this to his father, saying: "If you do not quit this 
place, I will do the same to the remaining four." When [the besiegers] saw this, they wept 
and were frightened, made peace, and departed. Then Nur ad-Din was seized with a pain 
and grew ill. Great confusion came over them and many officers rose up against each 
other and destroyed one another, and there were great harms and deprivations visited 
upon Christians because of that chaotic state of affairs. 

In 1484 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1173] in the month [of the exaltation] of the Cross 
[September], there was such a severe cold and such snowfall — previously unheard of, 
and never before seen either in tradition or in writing. For [snow fell] to a depth of 27 
(or 25) t'iz (palms) and in India, which never has snow [g468], they say that [snow fell] 
to a depth of 14 t'iz [54 inches]. Sources of water froze and fish died in the sea, birds 
and reptiles were wiped out as were wildlife in the valleys, while domesticated animals 
died from lack of food, and the seeds of all plants burned up. 

[196] When the next year came, there was very intense famine and want — to the point 
that the princes of Cappadocia killed the Danishmendid amir of Sebastia, Ishmael Mslim, 
seized his entire family, killed 500 people, took the grain which had been stored up and 



all his possessions and survived the severity of the famine. The deed of their killing was 
concealed for four three months due to the winter season. But with the coming of spring, 
all the surrounding peoples learned about it. It seemed so wicked that many doubted the 
truth of it. Some of the inhabitants of the land sent to Damascus, to Danun the emir of 
Caesarea who was being persecuted by Kilij-Arslan with many relatives, and they called 
on him. [Danus] had fled there with his relatives, [escaping from] the Sultan. He came 
and took the rule of Sebastia and exacted vengeance on many people for the merciless 
slaying of his relatives. Kilij-Arslan heard about this and came against Danun in Sebastia. 
Danun then placed his hopes on Nur ad-Din — who had arisen from his illness like one 
risen from the dead — to save him from the Sultan. Once again fear of him [g469] came 
over the land. [Nur ad-Din] assembled a multiitude of troops and went against Sebastia. 
The sultan was terrified, quit [trying to take] the city, and left. The Nur ad-Din turned 
and took Marash, Behesni, and K'esun. Now when Kilij-Arslan heard about this, he 
came against Nur ad-Din with an enormous multitude. Nur ad-Din went in advance of 
him and encamped by the Jihon River, while the sultan arrived and encamped on the 
other side [of the river], close to him. Each feared the other and they did not fight for 
many days. Then famine beset both armies and many died from it. After many days the 
sultan left Danun to remain in obedience to Nur ad-Din. And they established friendship 
and returned to their own places. 

Let me discourse briefly about a heresy which appeared in our day, prior to the death of 
Kat'oghikos Nerse's [d. 1173]. Here is what happened. There were two monks, one 
named Yusik, and the other, Ge'org, and a presbyter named Karapet. They had gone to 
the blessed Nerse's in the Mesopotamian area and were upbraided by him because of 
their unseemly reputation. They arose from him sadly, rebelled, and went to Edessa. 
They began to slander and curse Lord Nerse's, claiming [g470] that he held the heresy of 
Simon the witch [Magus] and was performing ordinations for money. They themselves 
became Chalcedonian and deceived 400 families in Edessa into following them. They 
were called Yusikeans by that city, as an insult. When the patriarch Nerse's heard about 
this, he wrote to the prince of the city so that he would expel them. And the prince of 
Edessa did expel them. [The heretics] went to Aleppo, to Nur ad-Din, where they took 
courage and returned to Edessa. Then I summoned them, blamed them, reestablished 
them in Orthodoxy, and sent them with my dignitaries to Lord Nerse's, begging him to 
reconcile with them. But when they had departed, Lord Nerse's died and went to Christ, 
in the year 1485 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1174], on Friday, the eighth of the month of the 
Mother of God. That impious Yusik turned around and went to Antioch where he was 
rebaptized and again became Chalcedonian [g471]. 

[197] Lord Nerse's had two bishops who were his brother's sons. Their names were 
Grigor and Grigore's. The senior nephew [Grigor] was not near his uncle at the time of 
his death. The younger one took [Nerse's'] ring and was declared [or, declared himself] 



kat'oghikos, but was not ordained. Now when the senior [nephew] learned about this, he 
came to the citadel where the kat'oghikosatc was located, but they would not let him in. 
And so he turned around and went to his brother-in-law (p 'esa) Paron Mleh. Mleh 
received him and took him to Nur ad-Din and, with his help, got him into Hr'omklay 
where he sat on the throne of his uncle's patriarchate. This man's name was Grigor. On 
the day of his ordination he invited our [Syriac] bishops Lord Grigore's, bishop of 
Kesoun, and Lord Vasilios, bishop of R'aban. He honored them and put them by his side 
during his ordination. After the ordination he sent two bishops, prominent men to us in 
accordance with the old custom which exists between us, namely, that when a Syrian 
Orthodox patriarch is ordained he sends a statement of his faith and a declaration of 
friendship to the Armenian patriarch, and when an Armenian kat'oghikos is ordained he 
sends a statement of his faith to the Syriac patriarch. I [Michael] was pleased and 
delighted at this for [Grigor] was a praiseworthy, blessed, and learned man [Grigor IV 
Tgha, kat'oghikos 1173-1193]. However, I somewhat [g472] chided him since, 
according to canons, when a patriarch is [already] named, [the designation] must remain 
as is. Moreover, I beseeched him to "eliminate the filthy reputation of simony from your 
venerable and renowned line which, except in this one instance, has remained pure and 
proper. And do this so that the charges of simony made by the Yusikeans not be levelled 
against you, too." [Grigor] agreed to this and promised to implement it. In addition I 
beseeched him regarding his relative [Grigore's], the one already named as kat'oghikos 
before him, that he honorably install him somewhere "since the large and populous 
multitude of your people require three or four patriarchs as many patriarchs as there are 
Evangelists." [Grigor] agreed to this, too, and implemented it, sending [Grigore's] to 
Lambron, entrusting a large part of the diocese to him, giving him the diocese of Tarsus 
and authority over the Cappadocian country. This man's name was Grigore's Apirat, 
and he occupied the [kat'oghikosal] throne after him. 

In the same year, 1485 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1 174], Nur ad-Din issued an order to 
assemble troops from all the lands of Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Cappadocia, Armenia, and 
Mesopotamia to eliminate the kingdom of the Franks in Jerusalem and the sultanate of 
Kilij-Arslan. He himself had grown very prideful. For long hours he would read and pray 
in silence and would not allow his troops to drink wine, nor could the sound of singing, 
gaming, or dancing be heard in his army. Through such virtuous behavior he expected 
that God would speak with him, for the deceitful Sheikhs and Fakirs had told him: "We 
have seen you rise into the sky" and "We have seen an angel talking to you." And [Nur 
ad-Din] believed them. 

[198] And thus was Nur ad-Din inflated with pridefulness in Damascus, where a 
countless multitude of cavalry assembled near him from all parts. And then, suddenly, he 
received a blow from the Lord and died, having reigned for 28 (or, 29) years. His son, 



Melik Saleh, took power, while the troops dispersed to their own places. The king of 
Jerusalem [g474] [Amaury/Amalric] came against Damascus and captured the land. The 
Damascenes promised to pay him taxes as before if he would leave, but he did not want 
to turn back until he had taken the city. However, the sins of the Christians did not allow 
this to happen, for a fatal illness struck him. He took the taxes from Damascus and went 
to Acre where he died, after ruling for 12 years. This was 40 days after Nur ad-Din's 
death. And then there was sorrow among all Christians at his death. His fifteen-year-old 
son Balwin became king in his place and sent to make friendship with Nur ad-Din's son. 
Now it happened that when Kilij-Arslan heard about Nur ad-Din's death, he came to 
Sebastia and took it along with Komana and Neocaesarea, and exterminated the 
remaining line of Danishmend. Thus was the rule of the House of Danishmend ended. 
[Danishmendid rule] had begun in 1366 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1055] and continued for 
122 years [uninterruptedly] with six of their leaders ruling one after the other. Similarly, 
Nur ad-Din's brother, Sayf ad-Din Ghazi (Sep'adin) emerged from Mosul and took 
Nisibis, Ragha, and Harran and his brother's sons in Aleppo submitted to him His 
brother's son Melik Saleh submited to him. [Sayf ad-Din] returned [to Mosul] and 
removed the remaining edicts of Nur ad-Din which he had written on all the mosques 
[saying] that Muslims Turks and Tachiks (Arabs) must not drink wine. [Sayf ad-Din] 
ordered that the inscriptions should be chiselled out and [g475] he allowed all areas to 
freely and openly drink, including in the mosques should anyone want to. 

In that year Yusup' who was Saladin, who was ruling in Egypt, conquered and ruled the 
innermost areas of Arabia and part of the land of Nubia. In the same year the fortresses 
which the Armenians had in the Sasun country, being harassed by the emir of Mup'arkin, 
were given to the Shah Armen, the emir of Xlat' which they [the Danishmendids] had 
held in olden times. 

In 1486 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1175] Mleh, the prince of Cilicia, was killed by the will 
of his own princes in the fortress. Now since T'oros' son had died in Hr'omklay, they 
brought Ruben, son of Pawn Step'ane', who was in Tarsus, and he ruled over the land. 
[Ruben IE, 1 175-1 186] tortured and killed the killers of his father's brother, since they 
say that when they killed [Mleh], they threw [his body] to the dogs. For that insult, 
[Ruben] could not forgive them. 

[199] In the same year Saladin arose from the land of Egypt and came to Damascus 
[g476] on the pretext of helping Melik Saleh. [Saladin] took Damascus and went on to 
Aleppo. Melik was terrified of him. [Saladin] sent to him, saying: "I am your servant and 
have come to render assistance to my lord against his enemies." But [Melik Saleh] did 
not believe him and would not open the city [gates] to him. And so [Saladin] turned to 
Aleppo and took in battle Hams and Hama, and he removed the Frankish captives from 
Damascus and sold them cheaply. And he made peace with the Franks. Then he had a 



lot of gold brought from Egypt and assembled many troops. Sayf ad-Din heard about 
Saladin's muster and came against him with boasting and insults, calling him a mad dog 
that barks at his master. And they hurried to arrive so that [Saladin] would not flee from 
them. But [Saladin] sent to him many times, saying: "Let us not fight. We are one people 
and one faith and I am obedient to you. But [Sayf ad-Din's forces] did not heed him. 
Rather, they went and attacked them and [Saladin's forces] began to destroy Sayf 
ad-Din's troops, which fled. When Saladin saw that the Mosulites had been defeated, he 
stopped his troops from killing them, saying: "Spare them, for we are one people." He 
went into the fray angrily and stopped his troops, saying: "Enough. God will be 
angered. " He took the captives who had survived and freed them and then buried the 
dead ones. As a result, fear and dread of him gripped [g477] everyone all the Muslims. 
Especially frightened were the Turks [and also] Melik Saleh. He took the Frank captives 
and sold them cheaply: the count of Tripoli for 80,000 dahekans; Joscelin's son, Joscelin, 
for 50,000; and Prince Renaud for 100,000 120,000. Then he established friendship 
with Antioch so that they would help him. 

Sayf ad-Din again held a muster and took along with him the lord of Merdin and 
Hasankeyf (Harsnk'e'b) and came against Saladin with 60,000 cavalry. Saladin had 
12,000 [troops]. [Saladin] sent to Sayf ad-Din, saying: "Do not come against me and do 
not fight with me. Who am I but your servant and what harm have I done to you? It 
would not disgrace me to be conquered by my lord, but it would be a grave loss to you to 
be beaten by your own servant." But he was not heeded. Then Saladin secretly spoke 
with the emirs, promising that he would treat them well. And thus, when the battle was 
joined, Saladin again became stronger while Sayf ad-Din, escaping by a hairsbreadth, 
fled before him to Mosul, seated on a camel. Then Saladin took Manbij while the lords 
of Ant'ap' and Tell Bashar came to him in submission. [Saladin] went on to Azaz and 
fought against it [g478]. Suddenly Assassins (Hashishik') attacked and stabbed him, but 
he did not die. Rather, he quickly recovered, killed them, sent troops against the 
Assassins and captured their country. [Saladin] took Azaz in battle and then went and 
besieged Aleppo. At this, the people of Aleppo sent to the Franks and Renaud — the one 
who had been ransomed — came and [his forces] were destroyed by Saladin's forces. 
[Renaud] himself was put to flight. Saladin turned to Azaz and Aleppo and then he 
returned to Egypt. Renaud destroyed a part of Saladin's forces, and put him to flight. 

[200] In 1487 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1176], Nejm ad-Din (Najbodin), the lord of 
Merdin, died having ruled for 22 years. He was a good man and mild toward the 
Christians. His son Xutbdin then came to power. 

In the same year a wild boar attacked the Byzantine emperor during a hunt, and it was 
noised about that he had died from this. Kilij-Arslan raided his land and captured many 
people and looted many places. However, the emperor recovered from his wounds and 



assembled many troops. With him were two of Danishmend's sons, who had fled to him 
and he made [g479] them military commanders, sending them in advance of himself. He 
sent messengers [to Kilij-Arslan] ', saying: "Return the Danishmendid patrimony to its 
own lords who are here with me." He himself followed after the messengers and 
destroyed many Turks. Now the Turks of Uch secretly went north by their side and 
captured 100,000 women and children from the Byzantines, not to mention the men who 
were slain. When the emperor of the Byzantines heard about this, he was searching for 
the sultan who was in advance of them, but the sultan was unable to encounter them. But 
the sultan did not want to fight them. Then the Byzantine emperor gave 50,000 cavalry 
to a certain one of the Danishmendid sons and sent him against Neocaesarea. They went 
and besieged it. The Turks ruling that city practised a ruse: they wrote a letter to the 
Christians [who were besieging them] and tossed it out [from inside the city walls]. [The 
letter said:] "That Danishmendid whom you have taken as your leader wants to betray 
you to the Turks. They are making a trap to kill you. " When [the besiegers] heard this, 
they believed it and started to flee. Then [the besieged] emerged and gave chase, killing 
many, including the other militay commander who was the emperor's sister's son. When 
they went to the emperor, he was deeply sorrowed. Then, in a rage, he went among the 
Turks near Konya, taking a position in a valley hemmed in by steep mountains. Then an 
enormous multitude of Turkmens from Bir encountered them [g480] and besieged them 
for five days, injuring [the Byzantines] by raining rocks and arrows down on them day 
and night. [The Turks] killed thousands and tens of thousands of men and animals, and 
took hundreds of thousands five hundred horses with their supplies. [The Byzantines] 
were terrified and weakened and sent to the sultan, [offering] to give him three cities 
which they themselves had built, requesting friendship and pleading that [the sultan] 
extricate them from their position. The sultan was delighted and favored [the request] 
and sent three emirs with cavalry to remove them from there and take them to 
Constantinople peacefully. The emirs came to them by night, chased away the Turkmens, 
removed [the Byzantines] thence, and took to the road. The Turkmens dispersed here 
and there and disrespected the sultan, who had established friendship with their 
weakened enemies — who had been besieged and were almost in their grasp. 

[201] However, [the Turkmens] followed them and unexpectedly struck at them seizing 
clothing, weapons, and horses, killing many, and looting, and from a distance [also] 
were shooting arrows and slingshots, and killing many of them. The Byzantines 
complained to the emirs blaming them and saying: "This is your doing. You are allowing 
this. But [the emirs] swore to them that "it is not because of us, but because [the 
Turkmens] are unbelievers and savages and do not heed us and no one can stop their 
depredations. " By the time [the Byzantines] reached Constantinople they were fewer by 
20,000 men. And thus, with a depleted army [g481] and disgraced, did [Emperor] 
Manuel reach his own country, [Manuel] who attempted by noteworthy warfare to 



conquer the world and [to conquer] the Orthodox Church. Thus his two wars [against 
the sultan and the Church] ended in disgrace. Following this he sent much treasure to 
the sultan and purchased out of captivity those of his remaining troops which had 
survived. This occurred in 1488 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1177]. 

In this period the Christians of Melitene were in great straits for two reasons: one, from 
continuing famine and two, from the stern behavior debauchery of its emir, who was a 
remnant of the Danishmendid line. The clerics told them that their misery was due to 
their sins, since "the word of the Lord has been fulfilled upon us, which says 'they 
mingled with the heathens and learned their ways and fell into scandal' Come, let us turn 
from our evil ways and beg for God's mercy, for we are reduced and will be completely 
destroyed." The folk heeded this and began to fast and pray in tears, to hold vigils and 
implore God. And the Lord turned from His anger and [g482] entered the emir's heart, 
and made him repent of his deeds. [The emir] sent to the sultan, received treasure from 
him, and gave Melitene to him, while he himself arose and went to Kharberd. Then great 
ease came upon the Christians, an abundance of bread and goods, and a reduction of 
taxes. 

In 1489 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1178], Saladin emerged from Egypt with 30,000 
armored cavalry, not counting the ordinary soldiers and infantry, and 52,000 pack 
animals following behind carrying weapons. Arriving in Palestine, he caught a Frank, 
sacrificed him, washed in his blood, and prayed. He prepared to war and to wreck the 
country. Now the king of Jerusalem, Baldwin [IV, 1 174-1 185] gathered his troops, which 
were few in number and fell on his knees before them facing East, as did his troops. 
They wept and fervently prayed to the Lord. The troops swore before God and the king 
that they would not show the enemies their backs, rather, they would gladly die for the 
blessed Church, then they went against them. When [the Franks] saw their multitude... 
[lacuna] and saw their own small numbers, once again they dismounted their steeds and, 
with ash-covered faces, wept and beseeched the Lord [g483]. Strengthened by their 
faith, they went against [Saladin's forces] as an eagle pounces on a flock of partridges 
rabbits. Lord Jesus Christ, God of the Christians, stirred up a whirlwind in the face of 
the infidels, which threw them from their horses without [the Franks] lifting a hand or 
using weapons, and made them flee before them while [the Franks] killed them 
mercilessly, not letting anyone live. The infidels fled and scattered through the southern 
desert. From morning until sunset [the Franks] did not stop their pursuit. Moreover, on 
the next day from sunrise until the fifth seventh hour [the Franks] found them 
abandoned, hungry, and in hiding and killed them. [The Franks] took the immense 
weight of their provisions, bows, arrows, spears, tents, their furnishings and equippage, 
thereby loading up and getting rich. The Lord thus gladdens those who believe in Him 
and the renown of this never [ceased]... [lacuna]. The blessed Church resounded with 
this joyous news and gave thanks to God who broke the backs of the infidels and 



shattered their aspirations. Now Saladin, newly defeated and disgraced for the first 
time, went to Egypt (Msr) greatly reduced, donned black raiment, and remained locked 
in his home in the dark for many days as a penance. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

[202] Now because of this victory, in the same year [A.D. 1 178] the emir at Herim 
began to doubt [his overseers and] turned from the Turks in Aleppo, [believing] that [the 
Aleppans] wished him ill and wanted to kill him. And so he consulted with the Prince of 
Antioch, requesting an oath that they would not remove him from his fortress, in 
exchange for his submission [g484]. They so vowed to him by the Cross and Gospel. 
Thus the emir turned away from Aleppo in rebellion and went under [the sovereignty of] 
Antioch. However, later the Prince regretted this and violated his oath. He brought there 
Ruben, the prince of Cilicia, through entreaty, and, taking him along, went against 
Herim. However, because the Prince had broken his vow, the Lord did not give it into 
his hands. Rather, many of the Frank troops died while they turned Herim back to 
Aleppo ['s sovereignty], taking a pledge from them. 

In 1490 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1179] the Franks of Palestine assembled and the king of 
Jerusalem went to encamp by the Jordan [River] where they began to build a city there, 
at a place called Jacob's Ford. Using this they would be able to cross over to Damascus. 
They succeeded in this and Christians came and settled there. Now Saladin heard about 
this and was fearful for Damascus. Again he assembled troops and went to that city. 
Now since the emir of Baalbek — which is called Sun City, Heliopolis — had rebelled, 
[Saladin] went against him. Through friendship, oaths, and promises [Saladin] secured 
him and grew stronger. Then he went against the new city which the Franks had built. 
Meanwhile the glorious Frank troops had learned about Saladin's arrival. They went 
against him as though hunting deer and put him to flight as far as Damascus. And the 
Frank troops followed up to the gates of Damascus, enslaving the country and taking a 
lot of booty. But then Saladin took heart [g485] and went behind them, seizing 100 
Brothers (Freres). Even more encouraged, [Saladin] assembled Arabs from the desert 
and went against the city they had built, and seized 100 Freres from them, too. Now the 
king of Jerusalem was not there, rather only 500 Freres. [Saladin's forces] besieged the 
city and conquered it. They hurled fire into the city, which started to burn. All the newly 
built structures burned down. Now there were 500 Freres with their Master present. 
When they saw that they had been defeated and were conquered, some of them 
weakened and they threw themselves into the fire or into the river, so that they not fall 
into the hands... [lacuna] the remainder of them were destroyed by Saladin. [Saladin's 
forces] destroyed the other residents of the city, and then went to Damascus. 



[203] In 1491 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1180], in 630 of the Armenian Era [A.D. 
1180/1181], the Byzantine emperor Manuel died, after a reign of 37 years [Manuel I, 
1 143-1 1 80]. He was succeeded by his son Alex who was 12 years old [Alexius II, 
1172-1180; 1180-1183]. Twelve princes conducted the affairs of the empire. [Alex's] 
mother was a woman of faith, but she had the treasury under her control. Later she fell 
into adultery with one of the twelve princes. When the affair became known, the eleven 
other princes thought to kill the mother and her son and to crown Manuel's daughter, 
who had been born [g486] from the first legitimate wife. But they were unable to effect 
this. When mother and son heard about it, they tried to seize them. The eleven princes 
fled into the great church [for sanctuary]. Executioners went to seize and kill them while 
the rabble controlled the city and held the door of the church for seven days. They began 
to hit the church using a rock-hurling device (p'elikan). Now it happened that after seven 
days the Patriarch went and beseeched the emperor and his mother that [the sanctuary- 
seekers] be left in peace and safety. He got a pledge from [the court]. And so he 
removed them from the church and took them to [the imperial] court. But the emperor 
and his mother broke their oath and blinded them, a fate worse than death. Then the 
Patriarch, who was named Theodorus, cursed the city, while he himself arose and quit 
the city. He thoughtlessly had cursed the city and the innocent folk there, who did not 
have mass performed for eight months. Nor were those who were dying able to 
commune before death. He foolishly cursed the innocent and not the emperor and his 
adulterous mother. 

In 1492 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1181], there was a war betwen the sultan and Nur 
ad-Din, who was the lord of Hasankeyf and Kessoun, since Nur ad-Din hated his wife, 
who was [Sultan Kilij-Arslan's] daughter. He put his hopes on Saladin. The sultan went 
and demolished Kessoun. Then Saladin arose and went against the sultan to avenge Nur 
ad-Din [g487]. Emir Hasan, speaking words of wisdom, made peace and they did not 
fight. Each returned in peace to his own place. 

In the same year the emir of Edessa and Harran rebelled from the Mosulites and 
submitted to Saladin. This was the reason that Saladin now came to Mesopotamia. For 
the Mosulites massed but did not dare to fight with Saladin. They submitted to him. 
Then Saladin went and took Amida and gave it to Nur ad-din, since he had promised it 
to him. 

In 1493 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1182] in 633 of the Armenian Era [A.D. 1184] Melik 
Saleh, lord of Aleppo, died. Sayf ad-Din, lord of Mosul, also died and Aleppo and 
Mosul were given to the line of Sayf ad-Din. Izz ad-Din (Azadin) gave Aleppo to his 
brother and took Anjar from him. 

[204] In 1494 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1183], in 634 of the Armenian Era [A.D. 1185] 



the impious Andronicus, murderer of Paron Step'anne — who had gone to Acre after an 
affair with his own relation and was then circulating around, spreading his wickedness 
from place to place — now went deceitfully to Constantinople, as though going in 
obedience to, and concern for, the boy emperor. He stayed some days in the palace. 
Then that evilly born one made manifest his wicked intentions. He harassed the Franks 
found in the city, drowned the [regent] mother and her son in the sea, killing 1,000 of the 
Byzantine princes [g488], and ruining 14,000 villages and monasteries under Byzantine 
control. He took Alexius' wife as his own, chased out the Franks found in the city and 
district, and himself ruled [Andronicus I, 1 1 82- 1183; 1 183- 1 1 85]. He planned to kill the 
great prince P'sikos [Isaac II Angelus] who belonged to the line of the emperors. He sent 
and summoned him, but [Isaac] did not want to go, since he had been informed about 
the emperor's intentions. Then the emperor sent his military commander to go and fetch 
him, telling the nuncio that he would kill him instead if he failed to bring [Isaac] back 
with him forcibly. But [Isaac] pulled out a sword, and struck and killed the military 
commander. Then he went to the church and declaimed, with the bloody sword in hand: 
"Look and listen, every one of you. Andronicus wants to eliminate the empire of the 
Greeks." They listened and there assembled at the church the princes, soldiers, and the 
city mob, all of whom were wounded by Andronicusf's deed] and were furious with him. 
They said to Isaac: "You rule over us, and this storm will pass." They hastened to have 
the Patriarch annoint him emperor, and this was announced throughout the city. Now 
when Andronicus heard this news he got into a boat and fled. But they caught up with 
him and brought him back, and while doing this, they [g489] hacked him to pieces 
throwing some of the parts into the sea. Having brought [the remainder of his body] into 
the city, they burned it in fire. This occurred in 1497 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1186]. 

In 1493 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1182], Saladin, who ruled Mesopotamia, and all the 
emirs of Mesopotamia descended on K'arak and besieged it and Shawpak (Montreal). 
The Franks massed and went and put them to flight through the grace of God, and 
fortified the city and the fortress on the coast. 

In the same year Baldwin [IV, 1 174-1 185] became ill with leprosy and doctors were 
unable to help him. He made his sister's son who was a very young boy, also named 
Baldwin, his substitute. After a few days [King] Baldwin died and the lad Baldwin 
reigned. 

[205] In the same period Saladin went to Mup'arkin and took it. Saladin went to Nisibis 
and took it. Then he turned and went to Mosul. He was unable to capture it, but placed 
[the city] into very dire straits, until they swore to him [g490] that they would provide 
him with cavalry and stand in submission to him. Then he went to Mup'arghin, took it, 
and returned to Damascus. 



In the same year there died Nur ad-Din and Qutb-din, lords of Amida and Merdin, who 
were related to each other and were of the Artukid [clan] there, destroyers of churches, 
haters of Christians, and enemies of the truth. Because Nur ad-Din had pulled down 
many churches in Amida, the anger of the Lord was aroused and [another] Qutb-din 
(Xudbadin) who was his son from a concubine, took over his rule. Hasam ad-Din, 
Qutb-din's son, took Merdin. Upon Nur ad-Din's death, Umm ad-Din, lord of Palu, took 
Kharberd. In this period Emir Mihran, lord of Xlat' the Shahi-Armen, died. He was 
well-disposed and merciful to the poor and needy and effected many easements for the 
Christians and the churches. Following his death, his servant, Bek-Timur, took his 
position. 

In the same period the prince of Antioch [Bohemond IE, 1163-1201] established 
friendship with Saladin and treacherously hunted Ruben, lord of Cilicia. He seized 
[Ruben] and put him in prison. Then [Bohemond] entered Cilicia [g491] and remained 
there the entire summer. However, he was unable to do anything to harm the country, 
since Paron Lewon, [Ruben's] brother, wisely fought him and managed the affairs of the 
country keeping it flourishing and at ease. Subsequently, Lewon, for the love of his 
brother, voluntarily gave him gold and T'il and Adana and got Ruben out of jail. But 
later on they took back their places and scorned the Prince. 

In 636 [of the Armenian Era, A. D. 1187] there was warfare between the Medes, who 
are the Mark' [Kurds] , and the Turks, who are the Turkmens. In this period there was 
warfare between Turks and Kurds and the disturbances lasted for eight consecutive 
years. Here are its causes: the Turkmens, who dwelled in tents and live out in the open, 
during winter came with their tents to the southern areas because of the mildness of the 
air. In summer, they arose and went north because of the abundance of water and the 
gentle and fresh air. In their coming and going the Kurds robbed them and became 
powerful. Participating in this going and coming were the Mark' [Medes/Kurds] who, 
having lost their kingdom, roamed about here and there. Because of their poverty they 
seized the goods of others through clandestine ambushes. They went after the Turks 
especially, seizing their livestock. In this year [g492] [the Turkmens] found 200 Kurds 
hiding in ambush to do harm in the Shebeghtan country, and they killed them. As a 
result, 10,000 Kurds massed and twice that number of Turkmens, and there was a big 
battle in the Shebeghtan country. 

[206] The Kurds were defeated and completely wiped out. After this, the Kurds once 
more signalled to their people and assembled 30,000 in the areas of Nisibis and 
Turabdin. When the nation of the Mark' [Medes, i.e., the Kurds] who resided in the 
mountains ofChgheroy and in the Tiwrewand country learned about this, they alerted 
each other and assembled 30,000 [fighters] and came to Nisibis and provoked the 
Turks. The Turkmens assembled a countless number [of fighters]. They fought near 



Nisibis [in the area] between Dara and Nisibis and again the Turkmens were stronger 
and hit the Kurds with very great blows and, defeating them as before, completely killed 
them. Then they went on and seized their camp ground. As a result, the nation of the 
Kurds was reduced in Mesopotamia. A few escaped and landed in the country of Cilicia 
where they requested mercy from them, and in secure places here and there. 

However, the Turkmens did not blame the Christians until they found some Kurds 
concealed in the Christians' homes. Thereafter, and with this as the reason, they began to 
harass Christians in different places. The Turkmens took Arabtil and Tellbasme where 
they killed or [g493] sold the Christians until all the emirs began to protect their 
territories. 

In 1498 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1187], Saladin massed all those obedient to 
him — Egyptians, Assyrians, and Mesopotamians, Egyptians, inner Libyans, Bedouins, 
Assyrians, and Mesopotamians — into a large and formidable army, having weapons 
and [siege] machines without number Then they went against the Franks near Tiberias 
to avenge the defeat and losses [Saladin] had borne from them before when he had 
emerged from Egypt with 32,000 troops whose loss had weakened him. This second 
Jeroboam, Solomon 's rival, came and encamped near Tiberias. The Franks and the king 
of Jerusalem went against them. Then the sins of the Christians before the Lord were 
remembered, and their deviance from His just laws and the anger of the Lord hit the 
Franks. The Infidels grew strong and they put to the sword and destroyed the Christian- 
loving troops of the Franks. They seized the king of Jerusalem and all the Freres [g494] 
and there was great joy for the Turks. [A lengthy lament for those fallen in battle 
appears here in the 1870 edition.] But before the battle, the count of Tripoli fled and he, 
they say, was the cause of the defeat of the Christians since he had earlier made some 
agreement with... [lacuna] the infidels. He made the troops thirsty, weakened them, and 
betrayed them to the enemy. Then he went over to the foreigners /infidels... they captured 
the young king of Jerusalem. As for Saladin, he took Tiberias, wrecked and ruined it, 
and, killed with his own hands Renald, prince of Antioch [Reynald of Chatillon, 
1 153-1 160; d. 1 187] and 300 Freres and bathed in their blood. Then he went to Acre 
and the princes who were there fled by boat to Tyre (Sur). [Saladin] took Acre and took 
captive a very large number of people. [The princes of Caesarea], Nazareth, and Jaffa 
abandoned these cities and Saladin easily ruled over them. No one can relate the insults 
suffered by the Christians, the spitting and trampling underfoot... [lacuna]. [Extended 
lament, including "we will not detail all that the infidels did, since this is described in 
many books written in many languages."] 

[207] Then Saladin went on to Ascalon and swore to the residents that he would leave 
them alive and free to go wherever they pleased. He gave them the king of Jerusalem and 
took the city. The residents took the king and went to Tyre. Then Saladin went against 



Jerusalem and besieged it for some days. Now since they had no expectation [of help] 
from any quarter, [the residents] thought to give him the city. Saladin set a price of 10 
dahekans per head on the residents of the city which, if they gave it, they would be able 
[g495] to go wherever they wanted. And it was so arranged, and they gave over the city. 
Those unable to ransom themselves remained there in servitude. No one could restrain 
the tears shed by Christians quitting the city. Some 20,000 men and women remained 
there. Of these, Saladin freed 4,000 old men and women. He divided 7,000 boys and 
girls among his troops and sent 5,000 youths to Egypt to make bricks for walls, leaving 
5,000 in Jerusalem to build up its walls. The Temple was washed with the blood of 
Christians and then washed again with rosewater. They established a written rule that 
Christians should not enter there, on pain of death or else be converted. Then he placed 
under taxation the Church of the Resurrection, such that everyone entering it paid a red 
dahekan. Then Saladin turned upon Tyre. However, a count named Margis [Marquis 
Conrad de Monferrat], a strong and wise man, appeared at this point and entered the city 
before the siege began and, by his efforts [g496], saved Tyre. Then Saladin went and 
took Sidon, Beirut, Che'pe'l, and T'pni and ruled over them. 

In 1500 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1189], Saladin took Shawpak and Krak which overlook 
the sea. In 640 of the Armenian Era [A.D. 1191] Saladin went against Krak and 
Shabak' and besieged them. After much labor his troops triumphed. They destroyed and 
ruined them and took captives.. In Krak they found an enormous cave full of unrefined 
silver which was just one smelting away from being completely processed. But they were 
unable to do what was needed to it, and were unable to find any craftsman who knew the 
details of such processing. They left it thus and departed. From there they turned and 
took Latik, Che'pe'l, Sehun, Baghras, and Darpasak. After this Saladin went to the Sehon 
country, besieged Latik, and took it. He battled against Chepel, pulled it down, then left 
them and went on to Baghras, which he subdued. He demolished its wall. 

Then [Saladin] turned to Damascus. He sacrificed his ur'kan (?) He brought joy to the 
Muslims, joy to his troops [by giving them] gifts and stipends, but he brought mourning 
to Christ's faithful. 

[208] Now in this same year Kilij-Arslan's son assembled troops to battle against his own 
father. The sultan's military commander, Hasan, had made the sultan furious with his 
son. When they wanted to engage in battle, the sultan's son-in-law, Varham 
Vahram-shah, lord of Erznka, interceded and made peace. Many who were on the son's 
side were shamed by the sultan's [old] age, and war was avoided. However, 
subsequently, the sultan destroyed those of the Turks who had united with his [g497] 
son — some 4,000 troops, while the Turks killed the military commander, Hasan. In the 
same year one of the sultan's sons, who was named Xaysr-shah Azadin, ruled over 
Melitene as his patrimony. 



In 1501 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1190], in 641 of the Armenian Era [A.D. 1192] the 
Franks stirred and crossed the sea in a very great mixed multitude, without their king. 
Stirred in their souls because of the disasters endured by the Christians, and out of love 
for Jerusalem, they willingly crossed the sea. They descended on Acre and battled with 
the city, but were unable to take it, since Saladin had fortified the city and there were 
100,000 fighters present. Saladin did not dare to fight. The Franks built many homes and 
churches and 4,000 40,000 mills. Then the king of the Germans [Frederick I Barbarossa, 
1 155-1 190] came to Constantinople and fought against it. Subsequently, he made peace 
and came to these parts, but, through the traditional treachery of the Byzantines, they 
were led via waterless and difficult routes. Turkmens massed against them and killed 
many and the [Germans'] numbers decreased day by day. But eventually [the 
Germans] reached the city of Iconium/Konya and killed many Turks. When the Sultan 
learned about this, he received them and gave them passage and guides. The sultan 
established friendship and gave them passage and they arrived at Seleucia. There their 
king [Barbarossa] drowned in a river. His body was taken to Antioch. Later on [g498] 
two other [European] kings arrived, went to Acre, and seized many captives. Then they 
asked Saladin to swap the Frank captives in Damascus for these [captives that] they held. 
However, Saladin did not agree to this. Then the Franks brought out 25,000 captives, 
killed them, piled their bodies on top of one another, and then prayed, as Saladin had 
done. Then they established the sister's son of the king of England as count of Acre and 
made peace with Saladin. Some news had come from their country, and they turned 
around and departed. Then Saladin fortified the walls of Jerusalem, making them 
stronger than before. 

In 1502 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1191] [g499] Kilij-Arslan began persecuting his sons. 
The people of Iconium/Konya took him to themselves. [Kilij-Arslan' s] senior son raised 
up his head in Aghsarayn. The father, being impatient, gathered the troops he was able 
and went against his son. However, en route he sickened and died, and they brought [his 
body] back to Konya. He had with him a younger son, whom they put in the father's 
place. Kilij-Arslan died in 1504 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1193], having reigned for 38 
years [Kilij-Arslan n, 1 155-1 192]. He left the kingdom to his 12 sons. In 642 of the 
Armenian Era [A.D. 1192/1193] Kilij-Arslan died in Konya and was buried there. 

[209] Now in 1505 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 1194], Saladin also died in Damascus, 
leaving 23 sons. Of these, the eldest son was established in Damascus, the second in 
Egypt (Msr), and the third in Aleppo. They were styled kings and sultans and had others 
under them. [Saladin] had a brother named Melik Edil, to whom he gave Edessa and 
Harran [g500], Mup'arkin, Merdin, Samosata, Xlchpar, Krak, and Shawpak'. [Saladin] 
showed this concern for him close to the end of his life. [Melik Edil] later also took 
Nisibis and Ragha. Now the lord of Mosul forged unity with his brothers and with the 



lord of Chzira, the lord of Merdin, the lord of Ragha and Sinjar and came with them to 
take Harran. However, he became ill en route, returned to Mosul, and the others 
dispersed. Then Melik Edil went and took Nisibis, Ragha, Ghapur and the other emirs 
submitted to him as they had done to his brother, Saladin. Then Melik Edil went to the 
Armenian areas, to Xlat', but was unable to take it, and turned back. In the same year the 
lord of Mosul, Izz ad-Din (Azadin) died and his son, Nur ad-Din, took his place. 

In this year Lewon, the brave and renowned prince of the Armenians, seized 
[Bohemond], prince of Antioch, and subjected him to torture in return for the tortures 
[Lewon's] brother, Ruben, had endured from him. Then Sir Henri, count of Acre 
Antioch, who was a peace-loving and good man, arrived and, through his entreaties, 
freed the Prince and sent him to Antioch. The most valiant Lewon himself ruled over 72 
[g501] fortresses, some of which his ancestors had held, others of which he himself had 
seized from the Byzantines and Turks. Both the Byzantines and the Franks hastened to 
send him crowns, praising him. Thereafter he was a rich and renowned king. Awe and 
fear of him came over all the peoples in the lands bordering his. Moreover, Sultan [Kilij- 
Arslanj's sons took refuge with him, since they had grown weak after the division of [the 
sultan's] authority. They were divided into many parts: one, the younger, was king in 
Konya; one was in Ablastan; one was in Neocaesarea; while others held other portions 
of the land. And there was discord among them. Melik [Saleh] of Ablastan, who ruled 
the upper lands, came to him in submission. Melik [Saleh], who sat in Ablastan, 
especially placed his hopes on him. He arose and enlarged his portion with more 
fortresses and districts. 

Now it happened that the king of Egypt, Melik Aziz, came to Damascus against his 
brother [Afdal]. Melik Edil, the father's brother, went to make peace between them. But 
he performed a great treachery, for he drugged Melik Aziz, who died when he reached 
Egypt. [Melik Edil] then took Egypt for himself and ruled it and deceived Melik Saleh, 
telling him: "Go, dwell in peace in the most tranquil places in my own country, [such as] 
Samosata and I will give you Harran and Ragha while I will stay in Damascus and resist 
the Franks and others and all our enemies." [Melik Saleh] was convinced [of the truth of 
this proposal] and said: "I will take my father's treasure and depart. You hold Damascus." 
[Melik Edil] replied: "Could it be that you don't trust me? Go, and I will gather 
everything up and send it to you." So he arose and departed for Ragha, but they, 
knowing Edil's wishes, did not accept him there did not let him inside or respect him, 
nor did they accept the simple-minded man at Edessa, nor elsewhere. Then he turned 
around, enraged, and went to Samosata, which they gave over to him, since they 
secretly had been told to do so. Then Melik Edil [g502] circulated about and, seeing 
Saladin's treasury, was astounded at its wealth and value. He became greedy and did not 
give it to his nephew. Rather, he played a joke on him: he went into one treasury 



building which was filled with astragal (matutak; liquorice, milk-vetch) which is 
popularly called Maruxand, and which was being stored therefor some purposes. He 
took twenty loads worth, secretly sealed it with his signet ring, and sent this to him [in 
place of his inheritance]. When [Melik Saleh] saw this deceit, he was inconsolably hurt 
and deeply embarassed, but he was in no condition to do anything. He left the judgement 
to God Who requites everything appropriately [g503]. 



From Atlas Antiquus (Berlin, 1869) by Heinrich Kiepert: 




JH> l c » 



From Atlas Antiquus (Berlin, 1869) by Heinrich Kiepert: 




From Atlas Antiquus (Berlin, 1869) by Heinrich Kiepert: 




From Atlas Antiquus (Berlin, 1869) by Heinrich Kiepert: 




From Atlas Antiquus (Berlin, 1869) by Heinrich Kiepert: 




The Chronicle of 

Michael the Great, 

Patriarch of the Syrians 

1871 Edition 

Translated from Classical Armenian 
by Robert Bedrosian 



Return to Main Menu for Michael's Chronicle 
(Composite edition) 



This material was translated from the Classical Armenian text of Jerusalem, 1871, and 
comprises pages 1-206 of that edition. 



Pages 1-32 
Pages 33-63 
Pages 64-87 

Pages 88-117 
Pages 118-145 
Pages 146-206 



Chapters 13 to the end of the Chronicle were translated from the Classical Armenian text 
of Jerusalem, 1871, and comprise pages 207-503 of that edition. This section also 
includes, in italics, material from the 1 870 edition. 



Continued Translation from the 1871 Composite Edition . 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 1 



Pious and scholarly brothers, I have examined a multitude of important chronicles and 
well known accounts and have summarized them. [I have] selected the useful and 
valuable from the ecclesiastical and secular [documents], rejecting the fatal stupidity of 
many [accounts], removing the darkness of ignorance and considering the reward from 
On High which might be accorded to our labor. We have left this as a treasure for the 
Church and as education for the children of Zion who come after us [end of grabar 
(Classical Armenian) text page 1; henceforth shown as, for example, gl]. 

We must begin our book with Adam, who was the beginning of humanity, so that our 
building will be on a firm foundation and be beneficial to reciters and hearers alike. But 
first we must mention the names of the historians from whom we will be gathering the 
material for our structure. 

The Jewish [authors] Africanus, Hegesippus (Hek'sipos), and Josephus wrote [about the 
period] before the coming of Christ. 

Anianus (Enanos) the priest from Alexandria wrote [about the period] from Adam until 
Emperor Constantine. 

Eusebius Pamphili made a collection of the writings [of others] and [a work] named the 
Ecclesiastical History. 

Sozomen (Zosimus) and Socrates and Theodoret the Heretic began [their accounts] with 
Constantine and continued on until [the time of] Theodosius [the Younger]. 

John of Antioch and Djebel, Theodorus the Lecter of Constantinople, and Zachariah, 
bishop of Melitene [Mitylene] wrote [about the period] from Theodosius until Justinian 
the Elder. 

John of Asia wrote [about the period] from Anastasius to Maurice [g2]. 



Guria (Kawra) wrote [about the period] from Justinian to Heraclius and about the entry 
of the Tachiks [Arabs] into the Assyrian country, which occurred in Heraclius' time. 

The blessed Jacob [or James] of Edessa made an abstract of all these events. 

The patriarch Dionysius wrote [about the period] from Maurice until Theophilus, 
emperor of the Byzantines, and Harun, caliph of the Tachiks. 

Ignatius, bishop of Melitene, and Saliba (Sliwa), the priest of Melitene, and John of 
Kesoun, and Dionysius [the Alexandrian], son of Saliba, made rich histories 
[encompassing the period] from Adam until their own times. 

The aforementioned historians wrote in a rich and expansive manner, looking to delight 
the scholarly audience of their day. We, on the other hand, considering our twilight era 
and our laziness, write in an abbreviated manner, passing over [events] lightly. 

Now studious folk should not despair over chronological dates being sometimes 
imprecise, since the Lord's word is true, namely, that the [precise] knowledge of hours 
and times is reserved for the Father [alone]. For we found many divergences in [the 
chronology of] the Septuagint transation [of the Bible] [g3] from what the Syrians 
have — the version that Abgar had translated and was checked by Jacob of Edessa who 
pretended to be a Jew so that they not hide the [Scriptural] truth from him. 

According to the Septuagint, Adam was 230 years of age when he fathered Seth, and 
then lived an additional 460 years. His entire life lasted 930 years, until the 137th year of 
Mahalalel. He died 60 years before the birth of Enoch. This interval is an error which 
[the translators of the Septuagint] did not realize. But according to the Syriac version, 
Adam was 130 when he fathered Seth and lived an additional 800 years, which correctly 
makes 930 years. Anianus the monk introduces evidence from the Book of Enoch which 
says that 70 years after Adam's departure from Paradise, Adam knew Eve and fathered 
Cain, and seven years later fathered Abel. Fifty-three years after Abel's birth, [Cain] slew 
him. Then Adam and Eve mourned 100 years for Abel and then Seth was born as a son 
of consolation. 

The patriarch Methodius (Madidios) says that 30 years after the expulsion from Paradise, 
[Adam] fathered Cain and his sister, Klimia, and after 30 years he fathered Abel and [g4] 
his sister Beluda. After 130 years Abel was slain, and Seth was born in the 230th years 
of Adam. Thus you can see the discrepancies among historians. 

From Adam until Jared in the sixth generation comprise 930 years. During this entire 
period there was no king since for Adam, God's handiwork, piety and order in counsel 
were enough for them. After his death, Seth ruled for 178 years. Now in the time of 



Seth, his sons remembered the life [that had existed] in Paradise. They rejected marriage 
and went up on to Mount Hermon (Ahermon) where they lived in chastity And for this 
reason they were called the Sons of God, and angels. 

Seth, according to the Septuagint, lived for 205 years and begat Enoch. According to the 
Syriac [translation] this was 150 years. The days of his life were 970 years according to 
[both] the Greek and Syriac [translations]. 

According to Africanus and Anianus, Enoch begat a son when he was 190 years old, 
[while] according to the Syrians he was 90 years old. He aspired to call upon the name of 
the Lord God and exhorted people to do good deeds. He lived for 905 years. 

According to the Septuagint, Cain at 170 [g5] years of age fathered a son, while 
according to the Syriac he was 70, and he lived for 950 years. 

At 165 years of age Mahalalel fathered a son. This, according to the Septuagint, while 
the Syriac [version] has 65 years. All the years of his life totalled 197 years. 

Jared according to both the Septuagint and the Syriac version fathered a son at 162 years 
of age, while according to the Samaritan version he was 62. And his entire lifetime was 
962, [lasting] until the 600th year of Noah. 

In the 40th year of Jared, the 1000th year was completed. In this year Seth's sons grew 
weary, descended from Mount Hermon and fell into a craving for women. They were 
200 [men]. In the same period [people] established for themselves a king who was 
named Samarios. As Anianus relaytes, after descending from the mountain and leaving 
their angelic behavior, Seth's descendants angered their brothers and they would not give 
them wives. And so [these people] went and chose the daughters of Cain as wives. 
Giants were born from their union — impious, harmful killers. And [g6] up until this 
period there was a fear of God and [the people lived in] peace. But now that ended, and 
they fell into disorder, war, and murder. When the sons of Seth, who held the second 
climatic zone as their portion, learned about this, they also established a king over 
themselves, Alorus from the Chaldean country. He discovered astrology, the signs of the 
zodiac, [information about] the planets and their revolutions. Chaldeanism was named 
after him. He reigned 98 years. He was succeeded by his son Elp'aros, who reigned 29 
years and 255 days. He was followed by Almion the Chaldean, from the city of 
P'udiwilon, who reigned 128 years and 80 days. 

The fourth king, Amanon the Chaldean, reigned 118 years and 130 days. 

The fifth [king] was the Chaldean Amakaros, who reigned 177 years and 197 days. 



The sixth [king] was Dinos the Chaldean shepherd, who ruled for 98 years and 230 days 
[gV]- 

The seventh [king] was Ewturink'os the Chaldean, who reigned 575 years and 195 days. 

The eighth [king] was Mamp'ios the Chaldean from the city of Anark'on, who reigned 
195 years and 230 days. 

The ninth [king] was O'tiartos from the city of Anark'on, who ruled for 78 years and 330 
days. 

The tenth [king] was [the latter's] son, K'sisot'ros, who reigned 177 years and 195 days. 
This totals 1,183 years and 205 days. And in his day, the Flood occurred according to 
Chaldean writings. 

The time of these kings was 1 183 years, and the period [preceding it] without kings was 
1052 years, making a total of 2,242 years before the Flood, according to the Bible. 

Now Enoch was 165 years old [g8] when he fathered a son [Methusaleh] according to 
the Septuagint. But according to the Syriac [version] he was 65 years old. He discovered 
the letters which the Chaldeans use. Having pleased God for 200 years, he was 
transferred to a place which only God, Who moved him, knows about. Some say that 
this was the Paradise from which Adam was expelled. 

When Methusaleh was 187 years of age, he fathered a son, according to the Septuagint 
and Syriac versions. Eusebius and Anianus say that he was 1 65 at the time, which the 
Samaritans say 162. All the days of his life amounted to 962 years, which was the 98th 
year of Shem. 

Lamech was 188 when he fathered a son, according to the Septuagint, and 182 
according to the Syriac [version], but 53 according to the Samaritan [version]. His 
lifespan was 773 years, until the 69th year of Shem. He died 29 years before his father. 

In the 1,666th year of the expulsion of Adam [from Eden] Noah was born. [He was] a 
righteous man born of [righteous] parents and was kept for 500 years, or, according to 
the Syriac [version], 502 years. In his 358th year the second age was completed [g9]. 

Anianus says that God forsook humanity because of the increase in its sins, they 
increasingly engaged in wars and battles and the world filled up with the bones of the 
slain, which were piled about like hills. The Lord God became angered and sent the 
Flood against them, destroying them in the second month of Iar on the 27th. The waters 
lasted for a year, until the same day of the same month when by God's command Noah, 



his sons, and their women emerged from the ark. Then Noah offered up clean animals to 
God in a service, and the Lord smelled the sweet fragrance. Noah was [the start of] the 
third age. Josephu says that the ark landed on Mount Ewp'ime' in the Pisidia country, 
but, truthfully, it landed on the mountains of Ararat in Greater Armenia, which is Masis 
according to [other] texts. 

Noah's sons were Shem, Japheth, and Ham. The flood occurred in the 98th year of 
Shem and in the 100th year he fathered a son. Then Noah divided the world among his 
sons. He gave to Shem the land of Persia and [territory] from Pektura to India, R'ino- 
Korura, which is the Nile. To Ham he gave [lands] from the R'ino-Korura to Gagiron. 
To Japheth he gave [territory] from Madira to the north of Gat'iron. 

The line of Japheth holds [territory] from the source of the Tigris River [glO] which 
divides Media and Persia. The line of Shem dwelled to the east and west of the 
Euphrates and Tigris (Tklaf). The line of Ham holds the Gehon River, which divides 
their borders. The descendants of Japheth are: the Armenians, Macedonians, Medes, 
Greeks, Latins, Iberians/Georgians, and Alans. The descendants of Hame are: the 
Indians, Egyptians, Hittites, Jebusites, Ethiopians who are the Cushites, Gergesites, and 
Arut'ats'ik'. The descendants of Shem are: the At'urats'ik', the Chaldeans who are the 
Assyrians, the Hebrews, Franks, and Persians. The Shemites hold [territory] from east to 
west, through the middle [latitude] of the earth. The descendants of Japheth hold from 
the northeast to the west. The descendants of Ham hold the south. 

Noah, before the Flood, had observed the wars, murders, and deprivations, and as a 
result he divided up the world among them. And he placed curses so that [his sons] 
would not deprive one another of their portions. 

They say that after the Flood, Noah fathered a son named Mantinos whose allotment 
was on the far side of the sea. He asked his father for some of the bones of Adam, and 
[Noah] gave him [gl 1] the kneebones as a souvenir. It was [Mantinos] who developped 
astrology. 

Shem fathered Arp'aksad when he was 130 years of age, according to the Septuagint. 
According to the Syriac [version] he was 108. At 135 years Arp'ak'sad fathered Cain. 
Eusebius does not mention this Cain nor his times. It was this Cain who increased the 
deviation of the Chaldeans, withcraft and divination by the stars. His descendants 
worshipped him as a god and erected a statue of him during his lifetime. This became the 
beginning of idol worship. [Cain] built a city and named it Harran after his son. Luke 
mentions him in the Gospel. Moses does not mention him for some reason. 

Arp'aksad lived 465 years or, according to the Syriac [version], 438 years. Cain was 139 
years of age when he fathered Salah (Sagha). Salah lived 130 years and fathered Eber, 



and lived for 460 years. According to the Syriac [version] [Salah] was 30 years of age 
when he fathered [Eber], lived 433 years and then died. 

When Eber was 133 years old [gl2] he fathered Peleg and then Ektan, according to the 
chronicler Anianus. According to the Syriac [version] he was 34 and lived 343 years. 
There are those who say that the Hebrews were named after him. In the 1 20th year of 
Peleg, the world was divided up [again] due to the increase in population. 

At the beginning of the days of Reu (R'awag) they commenced building the Tower in the 
Shenar country. Now the giant Nimrod hunted game for the builders and fed them. They 
built for 40 years, fearing Noah's curses for they had violated the oath and were liable to 
his anathemas, having deprived one another of land and water. And so they conceived 
this plan [of building the Tower] to survive. But then the Lord descended and divided 
their languages, turning one language into 72 [different languages]. However, Eber, an 
old and devout man, had not joined [the Tower builders] and, they say, that the original 
language of Adam was preserved by him. And he named that country Babylon, which 
translated as "ruin" in the Chaldean language, which is Syriac. The blessed Jacob, 
Ephrem, Basil, and Gregory Nazianus attest that the language of Adam remained with 
Eber. The blessed Jacob of Edessa, John of Itruria, and others say that Adam's language 
which [gl3] remained with Eber is the one which the Jews now use and not the 
Chaldean of the Asoris. But I am surprised how it was hidden from them that the first of 
the line of Israel was Jacob and when they crossed the sea they then were named 
Hebrews. [The naming] was not from Eber, since Ebrayets'i translated "they crossed 
over" and when they crossed the sea they adopted a new language as well as other gifts, 
according to the Psalm which says: "He [Jacob], leaving the land [gl4] of the Egyptians, 
heard a language which he did not understand" [Psalms 81,5]. The original language 
belonged to the Chaldeans from whom the Israelites descend and they held that in 
antiquity until they adopted a new one, abandoning the old one and no longer using it. 

When Peleg was 130 years old he fathered Reu. According to the Syriac [version] he 
was 30. He lived 343 years. According to the Syriac [version] he lived 339 years. 

From the Flood until the confusion of languages totalled 660 years according to the 
Septuagint and the Syrac [versions]. 

At the age of 132, Reu fathered Serug. According to the Syriac [version] he was 52. He 
lived 339 years, or 239 according to the Syriac [version]. In this period Nimrod built 
three cities: Areg, Edessa (Ur'ha), and Nisibis (Mtsbin). Now after the disperion from the 
Tower, the sons of Ham came to the country of the Phoenicians and Lebanon. Seing the 
fertility and beauty of the country they like it and settled there, not going to their own 
allotment to the west of Egypt. Thus they inherited a second time Noah's curse, first 



[they had been cursed] for laughing at him, and second for changing their boundaries 
[gl5] from those set as their portion. 

In the 74th year of Reu the third era was completed, which is 3,000 years, and in his 
70th year the Tower was built. After 40 years of construction, [the people] were 
dispersed throughout the world. The world was filled with wars and whoever triumphed 
erected a statue to the victory and worshipped it. In the 1 10th year of Reu, the Tower 
fell. After the Flood, Nimrod ruled first in Babylon and he ruled in the 40th year of Reu. 
When a fierce whirlwind sent by God destroyed the Tower, Nimrod was killed in the 
collapse. He ruled for 69 years. As Menander the Mage and Josephus in his second book 
relate, [Nimrud's] crown was woven and not made of metal. 

Now when Peleg died, the sons of his brother Jaktan observed that they [gl6] had not 
received their legacy and they were angry. They set up three leaders for themselves: 
Sabah, Ophir, and Havila. They cleverly made weapons — swords, bows, armor, helmets, 
shields — and started to defeat everyone who fled before them. In order to withstand their 
depredations and survive, [people] began to construct fortresses and strongholds. This 
was the start and cause of weaponry. After many [people] were defeated by them, they 
beseeched the sons of Jaktan to take their legacy wherever they pleased and to end the 
warfare against them. Saba took the incense-producing country which was called Saba 
after his own name. Ophir took the land of gold mines which is India. Havila took the 
land of precious stone which was named after him Ewilat. 

Serug was 130 when he fathered Nahor according to the Septuagint, and 100 years less 
according to the Hebrew and Syriac [editions], [calculating] from the time of the Flood 
to this point. Serug lived 330 years. In his day people learned to make dahekans and 
money with the names of [their] kings on them. Serug built [the city of] Seruch in his 
name. 

In this period there appeared the Amazons from the line of Torgom. Here is how that 
happened. There was a woman who was heir [gl7] to Torgom's kingdom, and she did 
not want to marry. She arose and laid waste many lands. There was some treachery in 
her army which angered her to the point that she killed the male soldiers and created an 
army of women. Once a year, a few of them went and mingled with the men of another 
country. The females born [from these liasons] were allowed to live, while the males 
were put to death. Seeing this, [armies] assembled from the lands of 1 1 kingdoms and 
destroyed the stronghold of that kingdom which was the city of Ilium in the north. Thus 
ended the disorder and men took power as is normal in all the world, and male children 
born of those women lived and filled up the land. 

Forty years after the death of Nimrod and the destruction of the kingdom of Ham in 



Babylon, the Chaldean Kambiwros reigned 56 years in the time of Serug. He built the 
city of Shosh, which they call Ispahan. In that period the making of weapons spread and 
there started the enslavement and sale of people. In the 70th year of Serug, the Chaldean 
King Kambiwros warred [18] against the Kalatu people, defeated them, and they went 
up into the mountains. Serug taught Nahor the Chaldean doctrine of sorcery and 
divination by the star signs. Kambiwros ruled for 85 years. Following him, the third to 
rule as king in Babylon was Samiros in the 106th year of Serug. [Samiros] ruled for 72 
years. He warred with the Greeks, the Franks, and the Canaanites and put them under 
taxation. He built many cities in the land of the Chaldeans and Parthians and it was he 
who began [to designate] weights and measures. It was he who put patterns and images 
on cloth, established the making of silk, and all sorts of dyes. This is what Samatros the 
mage said about him in his history, that he had three eyes and a horn. [Samiros] was a 
brave giant and removed the Nimrodians from the Chaldeans and destroyed their line. 
When Nahor was [gl9] 79 years of age he fathered Tera (T'ara) according to the 
Septuagine. According to the Syriac [version] he was then 29 years old. He lived 201 
years according to the Septuagint, and 148 years according to the Syriac [version]. In the 
25th year of Nahor according to the Septuagint, the trials of Job occurred. 

[The editors have inserted a passage from Bar Hebraeus' Chronography here because of 
a lacuna. We omit it.] [g20-21] 

...And Abraham was 17 years of age when he willingly began to seek God. In that period 
the wrath of God was visited on the Babylonians. For birds called magpies came and ate 
up all their fields. Everyone was so distraught by the small amount reaped from what 
they sowed, that they had to [try to] chase the birds off. Now Abraham tended his 
father's fields and wearied of chasing these birds, and so he sought aid from all the 
so-called gods. But he received no help. He appealed to the sun, moon, stars, and the sky 
to no avail. Then he said: "O, unattainable God, supreme over all, creator of these birds 
and the fields, reveal yourself to me and chase them away." Immediately the birds 
departed and did not return to those fields. At that time the grace of God's mercy dawned 
in [g22] the heart of Abraham, and he said: "I have found God, the creator of all 
creation." And Abraham persisted in beseeching God to appear to him. 

At that time King Belus (Vilos) died and his son Ninus ruled for 52 years, beging the 
second king of the Assyrians. He constructed Nineveh and transferred the seat of his 
kingdom to Nineveh from Assur. He fashioned large idols of silver and gold for his father 
Belus' [statues] and had him worshipped. In this period were built R'about, and R'asan, 
and K'aghane', and then Jerusalem was built. Abraham burned the idol house of his 
father which was in Edessa (Ur'ha) and his brother Haran (Ar'an) tried to save those idols 
from the flames, but was himself burned to death in them. In the 60th year of Abraham 
[g23], [Abraham] and his father Terah and Nahor his brother and Lot son of Haran 



arose and left Ur'ha of the Chaldeans and came and came and dwelled in Harran for 14 
years. At God's command Abraham arose and went and dwelled in the land of Canaan. 
When Abraham was 85 years of age he went to Egypt and fathered Ishmael by his 
maidservant Hagar. Ishmael was 138 in the 60th year of Jacob. In this period Ninus' wife 
Shamiram ruled over the Assyrians for 41 years. She built the teh, hills of earth piled up 
to make fortresses. But we have found a different origin for the teh, namely, that due to 
the increase in idol worship everywhere, God sent a wind storm to earth which buried the 
idols here and there and heaped earth on them. To this day devs inhabit them and the 
idols are tormented there. Also to this day devs and witches ply their trade near the teh 
and hear the sounds coming from the devs. 

When Abraham was 99 years of age, he was circumcised. Whenhe was 100 he fathered 
Isaac, according to God's promise [g24]. The years of their servitude in Egypt was 430 
according to the Evangelist. Then began the period of their wandering, in the 77th year 
of Abraham when he arose from his father's house at the Lord's command. In his 1 15th 
year [Abraham] went to sacrifice Isaac. Isaac at the time was 1 5 years old, as we believe, 
though others say 30. His father Abraham was 75 years of age when Jacob was 35. In 
Isaac's 9th year, Abraham was informed that "your brother Nahor has fathered children. 
Now when Abraham was 134 and Isaac was 37, Sarah died at 127 years of age. Then 
Abraham took Kendura as a wife. Abraham was then 142 years old. Isaac at 38 took 
Rebeccah to wife and she became pregnant at age 61. Rebeccah had gone to Melk'isedek 
with prayers to beseech God to tell her why there was contention between the children of 
her womb [g25]. God told [Melk'isedek], who, taking God's command told her so that 
she would know: "Two nations and two people which are in your womb shall be divided. 
The one shall be stronger than the other, and the elder shall serve the younger" [Gen. 
25.24]. Anianus says that Rebeccah gave birth in the 60th year of Isaac, while others say 
in the 100th year. The elder was Esau, who is Edom from whom descend the Edomites, 
who are the Franks. The younger [child born] was Jacob, from whom the Israelites 
descend. 

Abraham died when Isaac was 76 years old. When Jacob was 1 5 years of age Isaac was 
180, this being the 31st year of Levi. At this time Abimele'k' was king of the Chaldeans. 
He is Gerera of the Phillistines, a friend of Abraham's house. When Jacob was 77 years 
old, in the 137th year of Isaac he went to Harran with his father's blessing. Jacob was 
147 years of age in the 12th year of Kahag and died after 232 years from the time that 
God promised to give his sons their portion of the world. He came to Egypt at 17. Now 
Esau took a wife from the daughters of the Canaanites and when he knew [g26] that this 
did not please his father, he married Ishmael's daugher Margaye't'. 

In this period Hamor (Emovr), Sechem's father, built the city of Sechem, which he 
named after his son Sechem who kidnapped Dinah when she was 12 years old. Then the 



sons of Jacob because of jealousy killed their maternal uncle with 3,000 people. Esau 
dwelled in Se'ir. When Jacob was 80 years old he took Leach to wife and at 85 she bore 
him Ruben. When he was 87 he fathered Shawmon and at 89 he fathered Levi. When 
Levi was 3 and Jacob was 9 1, he fathered Joseph. When Levi was 10, Jacob went up to 
his father Isaac. When Levi was 20, Joseph was sold. When Levi was 3 1 , Isaac died at 
180 years of age. Following the death of Isaac, the sons of Esau hired the sons of 
Ammon, Moab, and Aram and they came to K'ebron and warred with Jacob and his 
sons. Jacob was infuriated and slew Esau with an arrow, while those who had come 
against him fled. When Jacob was 130 years old he went down into Egypt, in the second 
year of the famine and the ninth year of Joseph's reign [g27]. According to the Syriac 
[version] 70 people entered Egypt, while according to the Septuagint and Saint Stephen 
the proto-martyr, 75 people [went to Egypt]. The reason for this [discrepancy] is as 
follows: the Syriac [version] regards Joseph and his two sons as one while the Septuagint 
counts the son of Joseph's son, though he had not been born yet. 

Levi was 46 years old when he fathered Kahad. Some place Job's tribulations in this 
period. When Kahad was 60 years old he fathered amram, and he lived 133 years, until 
the third year of Moses. At 70 years of age, Amram fathered Moses. In the 35th year of 
the reign of Joseph, Aghaparos ruled as king of the Assyrians. In the 38th year of 
Joseph's reign, K'ebron ruled as king of the Egyptians. Amram died in Egypt 13 years 
before the exodus of Israel. He lived for 135 years. Joseph was 110 years old, and died 
in the sixth year of Amram, 286 [years] after God's promise. After his death, his people 
entered into servitude. In this period Amnap't'is ruled in Egypt for 43 years. It was he 
who began to drown the children of Israel in the Nile River. 

Moses died in the 70th year of Amram, and the 350th year of God's promise. He was 
thrown into the river. The daughter of the king T'ermat'is — whom the Hebrews call 
Maria, whom K'ant'ara, king of the city of Memphis took as a wife — took Moses out of 
the water and at 1 years of age gave him to Ane's and Amre's, who schooled him. 

From the entry into Egypt until the exodus 215 years had elapsed. In Moses' 22nd year, 
the king began to harass Israel by the building of a city. In the 28th year of Moses they 
built the city of Hermopolis. The Cushites made war with the Egyptians, conquered 
them, and took captive Hr'ak'usa, Moses' adoptive mother. And they married her. In 
Moses' 38th year Yesu, son of Nawea was born, and Moses built Hermopolis. He warred 
[g29] with At'iubas, king of the Phillistines for 10 years, defeated him, and retrieved [his 
adoptive mother] Hr'ak'usa from him. Now K'amp'ara, T'ermotis' husband, had a grudge 
against Moses and wanted to kill him. He was angry because of [Moses'] success, but 
was unable to accuse him [of anything] because of T'ermot'is, who was Moses' adoptive 
mother, and whom he had brought back from captivity. But as soon as his wife died, he 
sent Xanthus (K'sant'is) to kill Moses. Moses learned about this and quickly killed him. 



Then he himself fled, going to Arabia, to Raguel of the Midianites. 

Jektan was the issue of Abraham and Kendura, Dadan was fathered by Jektan, Raguel 
was fathered by Dadan, Yot'or was fathered by Raguel, and Yobab was fathered by 
Yotor. Then Moses took to wife Yotor's daughter, Zipporah. Moses was then 40 years 
old. 

In this period the physician Asclepiades appeared [as did] Cecrops who ruled Itik in 
Egypt. Concerning [g30] him, some say that he ruled in the first year of Othniel. The 
Greeks say thathe built Athens and named it after his wife, Athena. It was he who took 
Greek writing from the Egyptians since he knew both languages. He also brought the 
inhabitants of the city of Memphis and settled them in the city of Athens. And thus did 
knowledge germinate in the northern regions. 

Now when Moses was 78 years of age, God appeared and spoke to him on Mount Sinai. 

In this period in Egypt, P'sanos ruled as king. He fathered a son and named him Ramesis. 
It was he who caused the Israelites great harm. Also, it was he who gave Egypt its second 
name, since previously it had been called Aria. It was in the 430th year of God's promise, 
which was the 80th year of Moses, that [Moses] merited the visitation from God and 
when he took the command to take Israel out of Egypt. Then did the Hebrews [g31] 
cross through the sea on dry land, while King P'sanos and his troops drowned. Eusebius 
says that the drowned Pharaoh was named Kanak'aris and not P'sanos. As for those who 
did not follow after Pharaoh, the reason for their salvation was that they were involved in 
work that God had shown them [see BH2.htm]. 

In this period astrology and witchcraft entered Persia, while in Athens a temple to Apollo 
was built called the Arespagite which is the house of judgement. In this period the city of 
Corinth was built which previously had been called Buria. In the same period the sages 
P'iwnik and Erakle's appeared. There was a land [of Cyprus] which was called Aliu 
before being named Cyprus, and from it Cappadocia was named. Egypt was then struck 
by earthquake(s) and for seven months [people] did not dare to enter their homes of 
cities, but lived out in the open in tents. Now after the drowning [during the exodus], 
Ak'aros ruled as king in Egypt. Six years after the exodus of Israel [g32], Cronos ruled as 
king over the Athenians. His daugher's name was Atike' after whom the land of Attica 
was named. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 1 



From [the time of] Adam until Moses' 80th year and the exodus of Israel from Egypt, 
3842 years [had elapsed], and in his 80th year Moses warred against the Amelekites. In 
the third month of the same year he went up onto the mountain and received the law. 

Apolomos the Hebrew philosopher says that it was Moses who created letters for the 
Hebrews. And from this it appears that the Hebrew language is younger than that of the 
Assyrians. 

Moses was 82 years of age when he erected an altar, and in the same year spies brought 
grapes from the valley of Bethlehem. At the start of the next year Baghak sent Bagham 
the mage to curse Israel. Now Moses died when he was was 120 years of age. He wrote 
five books [the Pentateuch]. After this judges were established in Israel. The first of these 
was Joshua, son of Nun who took the scepter of Moses and the rule for 83 years. It was 
he who led Israel into the Promised Land. He killed seven peoples of the Canaanites and 
delivered their lands as inheritance to the [g33] sons of Israel. He judged them for 27 
years and died at 107 years of age. No one except Africanus puts an interval between 
[Joshua] and Othniel. [Africanus] inserts 30 years between them. This Othniel was judge 
for 40 years. But they served K'usasart'em whom Othniel killed and that eight years is 
counted. The Greeks say that [Othniel] was a judge for 50 years. 

In his day were built the Bithynian cities of Malos, T'e'asos, Alkite', and Marunta. And in 
this time cities were built in Sicily. In this period Pelops (Palambos) ruled as king over the 
Arcadians, and this was the beginning of their kingship. From [the Greeks] also arose 
Philiste (P'ilotonos) the moralist [who wrote about] animals and birds. Following Othniel, 
Israel served Eglon (Etghom) the Moabite for 1 8 years, [years] which are added to [the 
tenure of] Ehud of Ephraim, who judged for 80 years. The city of Akadmon [? 
Lacedomonia] was built by Kadamos [? Cadmus]. In this eighth year Ark'iat'os ruled 
Athens. And in his 20th [g34] year Lambaridus ruled over the Assyrians for 32 years. 



Balak'e' was built by the king of the Assyrians then. At this point the fourth epoch was 
completed, which was 4,000 years. 

There were 27 generations from Adam to Moses while from Moses onward reckoning is 
donw not by generations but solely by the names of the Judges. Now after Ehud, [the 
Israelites] served Jabin for 20 years. Then Samegar grew strong and killed 600 Phillistine 
men with the handle of a plough. Then Sisara came with 900 iron chariots. Barak with 
Deborah['s help] defeated him. Jahel, the wife of Haber, killed him by slitting his throat. 
Baraks judgeship lasted 40 years. 

In Ehud's 13th year, the Thebans Cadmus and P'iwnikos came to Assyria and Sroy and 
Saydoy ruled. And some say that Cadmus created the Greek alphabet from Egyptian 
writing. 

Pelops took over the kingdom of the Arcadians who previously were called Mukeats'ik' [? 
Mycenaeans] prior to the descent among them of the sons [g35] of Heracles. In this 
period the city of Ilium was built by Ilos and Ak'ayis was built by Ak'ioy. In this period 
there appeared Sibyl, a woman who interpreted a dream seen simultaneously by 100 
philosophers at Rome, in which they all saw seven suns. In this period Midos ruled over 
the Africans. 

In the 28th year of Barak, Panawos ruled over the Assyrians for 45 years. In this time 
Deborah made a blessing in song. After Barak the Midianites ruled Israel for seven years. 
Gideon whohad been strengthened by God, arose and destroyed them and judged Israel 
for 33 years. If the seven years of servitude are added to this figure, [his tenure as Judge] 
is 40 years. In the third year of Gideon, Igos ruled as king of the Assyrians for 48 years. 
In the 33rd year of Gideon, Susramos ruled as king of the Assyrians for 19 years. In this 
period in Thebes, Apollo the musician ruled, who, they say was able to move rocks with 
the beauty of his playing. In other writings we have found that in Athens there ruled as 
king Cecrops again [or, the second Cecrops]. At 70 years of age, gideon became a father 
[g36]. After Gideon's death Abimelich, the concubine's son, killed 70 of Gideon's sons 
and judged Israel for three years. He was succeeded by Tola, for 22 years. In his eighth 
year, Theseus ruled the Athenians for 30 years. In Assyria, Mit'ros ruled for 27 years. In 
the 21st year [of Tola] Tarsus in Cilicia was built by Perseus, son of Danae. In this period 
Carthage was built and Troy was captured. After Tola, Jair the Gileadite [judged] for 23 
years. In his sixth year Amukasos ruled as king in Egypt for 25 years. In his 14th year 
Tutlos ruled as king in Assyria for 3 1 years. The Greeks call him Tit'unuis, and some say 
that it was he who captured and ruined the city of Ilium. In [Jair's] 16th year Ment'os 
ruled over the Athenians for 22 years. 

After Jair [Israel] served Foreigners for 19 years, and Jephthah judged for six years, 



though [others] reckon 24 years. They say that the musician P'ilimon lived in this period, 
he who introduced choirs. He too made statues with the feet [separated as though] 
walking. In this period the cities of Kiwrine' [? Corinth] and Sur were built, 440 years 
before the construction of the Temple [g37]. 

In the fourth year of Jephthah, Dimap'os ruled over the Athenians for 33 years. Over the 
Egyptians there ruled Giusbululite' and others like him, in order for 188 years. In this 
period the Latins, called Romans, began to rule. Their first king was Aenas [who ruled] 
for three years. Following Jephthah some say that Elon became Judge. The Septuagint 
places Abdon here, who judged for eighth years. After abdon, the Philistines ruled for 40 
years. After Elon and Abdon, Samson from the line of Dan judged Israel for 20 years. In 
the third year of his tenure he warred against the Philistines. In his fifth year, the affair 
regarding Ruth took place. In his second year, Tute'os ruled the Assyrians for 40 years. 
In Samson's 19th year there died Zews who was buried in Crete after living for 880 
years. Because of his longevity, he was called after the name of the star, even though his 
parents had named him Dios. 

Now following Samson, the children of Israel passed 12 years [without a Judge]. John 
the Historian writes that Samegar [judged] after Samson for 40 years, while Africanus 
says that they had no Judge then. There was peace at the time and no one experienced 
harassment from anyone, eli, according to the Septuagint, judged Israel for 20 years, 
while the Syriac [version] says 40 years. According to the Septuagint, Eli lived for a total 
of 78 years. Eli became a prince at age 38 and in the 1 7th year of his authority Samuel 
was born. Samuel was presented at the altar at age 20. After Eli's death, the Ark [of the 
Tabernacle] was in the House of Aminadab for 20 years. In the 42nd year of Samuel's 
life and in the 20th year of his authority, the children of Israel requested a king. With this, 
the era of the Judges ended and their kingdom comenced with Saul. 

Saul, the first king, at age 40 — which was the third year of his reign as king — defeated 
the Amalekites. In his 10th year David was born, and in the 22nd year of Saul's reign as 
king, David was anointed king by Samuel. And [g39] Samuel then was 65 years old and 
David was 12. In his 28th year, [David] killed Goliath. In the 31st year [of his reign] 
there was a festival to Nawad in Ramah and Saul prophesied among the prophesiers that 
David would be king. And he prophesied as to the wickedness of his House. Samuel the 
prophet died when David was 30. Five years after the death of Samuel, Saul and his son 
Jonathan were killed, having reigned for 40 years. 

David ruled in Hebron for seven years. It was he who built Zion, then ruled in Jerusalem 
for 33 years. In the 10th year of his reign he removed the Ark and put it in a tent. Now 
while he was bringing the Ark, the grace of God which was in it pitied Adam and he 
threw himself on Adam's grave. Hosea died since he wanted to restrict the grace [to 



Adam], this is what Jacob/James of Edessa relates. 

The prophet Nathan, who protected David, was in Gabawon. When David [was about 
to] fall into sin in with Bathseba, Nathan was the first to know about this. He came to 
save David, but while travelling he encountered a dead person and by the time they had 
buried him and Nathan had reached David [g40], the adultery had already occurred. And 
so, [Nathan] turned back in sorrow. When Uriah was slain, [Nathan] came and 
reprimanded [David] for these two evil deeds. [Nathan] gave him a sign — the death of 
Bathsheba's first born son — and David feared God and repented. In the 39th year of his 
reign, David selected 188 men from the Levites, organizing them into 23 choirs of 12 
men each, to serve the Ark and [to sing] Psalms. He also made war with the surrounding 
peoples and defeated all of them. He lived for 70 years, reigning for 40 years. 

Then Solomon, who was 12 years old, reigned for 40 years. He removed the priest 
Abiat'ar [from the priesthood] and killed Adonia and Yovab. In the fourth year of his 
reign, [Solomon] began building the Temple and completed it in eight years. This stood 
on the mountains of the Amorites, which is now Jerusalem. It is written in [the Biblical 
book of] Kings, that 480 years after the exodus from Egypt, the Temple would be built. 
Paul says the same, that "[God] gave them Judges for 450 years until the prophet 
Samuel," leaving out the 30 years of their servitude to Foreigners. In their [g41] 34th 
year, Solomon built an idol house for the Moabite Camos and the Ammonite Moloch 
where there was also a home for the Greek goddess Aphrodite. The Moabite temple was 
built in seven years and the Ammonite [temple] in thirteen years. Their height was 30 
cubits and their width , 50. And [Solomon] made many golden ornaments for them and 
[a representation of] a bronze sea with bulls. [Solomon] pulled down Antioch and built 
T'etmur near Hems, as well as Malu, Hesur, Makdur, Gazare', Be'dur upper and lower, 
and Beghe'ovt', seven cities. In the first year of his kingship a son, Rehoboam, was born 
from his marriage to Naamah the Ammonite. In Damascus Solomon's enemy Hadad was 
ruling. Solomon's life span was 52 years. Epiphanes says that Ahijah (Ak'ia) prophesied 
to Solomon that he would anger God sometime in the future. He similarly upbraided 
Rehoboam that he went treacherously before God. It was Ahijah who saw the vision in 
which yoked oxen were trampling Israel and the priesthood. [Ahijah] said to Solomon: 
"your women distance you from God." He also reprimanded Jeroboam, son of Nabat, 
because of his wives and he died [g42] and was buried at Shiloh in front of an oak tree. 

After Solomon's death the twelve tribes divided and were under Jeroboam, son of Nabat, 
who ruled for 22 years. Under Rehoboam there remained two peoples, and they were 
called Judah and Israel. Rehoboam ruled as king in Jerusalem for 1 7 years and lived to 
age 58. In this period lived the prophet Samea who reprimanded Rehoboam a second 
time on the altar and said to Judah: "Do not fight with Israel since your division was from 
the Lord." He tore his garment into twelve parts, giving ten pieces to Jeroboam the 



Nabatian and two pieces to Rehoboam, Solomon's son. Epiphanes says that the prophet's 
name was Iud, who hailed from the country of the Samarians and that he was killed by a 
lion as he strayed from the word of the Lord. After Rehoboam, his son Abiah ruled for 
two years. Jeroboam arose against him with 40,000 [troops] and 50,000 men of Israel 
were killed. Abiah had 14 wives who bore him [g43] 24 sons and 60 daughters. 

After Abiah, his son Asa ruled for 41 years, living for 60 years. He dug a well near 
Masep'a to the awe of the king of Israel. [Asa] in the 1 5th year [of his reign] burned the 
idols he found and eliminated prostitution from the country. He also removed his mother 
from the queenship because she worshipped Astarte, and he burned the idols of his 
mother. In the 29th year [of Asa] Elah ruled over Israel for two years. His servant, Zimri 
(Zambri) killed him and ruled for seven days. Israel was divided, some following Amri 
and some, Tibni. Amri was victorious and ruled for 12 years. He purchased the mountain 
Samaria from the Samarians' lord, built a city there, and named it Samaria. It was later 
called Sebastia, and today is called Nablus (Mamlug). When Tibni saw that Amri had 
triumphed, he set fire to the court and burned to death in it. 

In the 41st year of Asa, P'ark'iris ruled in Egypt for four years. After Asa, Jehoshapat his 
son ruled [g44], for 29 years. In [Jehoshapat's] second year, Ahab (Ak'aab), Amri's son, 
was king of Israel, for 23 years. He took for a wife Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal (It'ikil), 
king of Tyre (Sur) and Sidon. He built Jericho which was cursed by Joshua, son of Non. 
He began it under his first born Abhiram and finished it under his younger zon, Zertsel. 
Under Abhiram he laid the foundation, and under Zertsel he hanged the gates, according 
to Jesu. But there are diverse accounts about this, such as, that it was built by order of 
Ahab and his sons, Abhiram and Zertsel. 

In the second year of Jehoshapat, Carpantus ruled over the Latins for 13 years. In 
Jehoshapat's fourth year, Ubrantios ruled over the Assyrians for 50 years. In his 13th 
year there ruled Iskok'oros in Egypt, for six years. In his fourth year Amkalos ruled over 
the Assyrians for 30 years. In his 19th year in Egypt [g45] there ruled Basanik'os for nine 
years. In his 23rd year there ruled over the Latins Agripa, for 41 years. In his 29th year 
Ochochias ruled over Israel for one year. After him his brother, Joram, ruled for 12 
years. In the same year Joram ruled over Judah for 8 years. After him Ochochias ruled 
for one year. Joram, king of Judah, son of Jehoshapat, took for his wife Athaliah who 
was Ahab's sister and killed his brothers. The Lord struck him in anger and he died and 
Ochochias ruled the kingdom. He sent Elisha to anoint Jehu, son of Amghi over Israel. 
He killed Joram, son of Ahab and Ochochias, king of Judah, and Jezebel, 15 years after 
killing her husband, Ahab. 

After the death of Ochochias, king of Judah, his mother Godoghia lost all her sons. But 
one baby was preserved by Jehoiada the priest. Then Godoghia herself ruled for 6 years. 



Jehu ruled over Israel for 28 years. He burned the temple to Baal (Bahagh) called "bull" 
[g46] together with its worshippers. The chief priest Yovidea killed Godoghia and 
enthroned Joas, a boy of six, over Judah. He reigned for 40 years. 

In the second year of Joas, Diogenes ruled as king over the Athenians for 28 years. In 
[Joas'] 10th year, Akraganis ruled the Athenians for 22 years. In the 22nd year of Joas, 
Esnuk'os ruled over the Egyptians for 2 1 years. In [Joas'] 23rd year, Romelos ruled as 
king over the Latins for 19 years. This Romulus was extremely proud in his ways and 
was burned together with his court in fire sent from heaven. In the 37th year of Joas' 
[reign], Elisha died, 50 years after the assumption of Elijah. In the 27th year of Joas, 
there ruled over Israel Yovak'az for 1 7 years. In the 3 1 st year of Joas the judge over 
[g47] the Athenians was Baraklis, for 19 years. Joas, after the death of Yovidea, deviated 
from the Lord. He killed Zak'aria, son of Yovidea in the Temple, then he himself was 
slain by one of his servants. 

Then his son Amasia ruled for 29 years. He was conquered by the Edomites and brought 
their gods to worship them. He lived for 54 years. In his 10th year, Yovas ruled over 
Israel for 16 years. Antoninus ruled over the Latins for 37 years. In the second year of 
Amasia, Est'ron ruled over Egypt for 17 years. During this period Arip'an was judge over 
the Athenians for 20 years. In the 17th year of Amasia, T'onos Konkogheros, called 
Sardanapalos, ruled over the Assyrians for 20 years. In his day [g48] Jonan went to 
preach in Nineveh. [Sardanapalos] regretted [his deeds] and turned to the Lord in 
repentance. After this repentance, there was warfare between him and Varbak the Mede, 
[the Medes] who are the Mark'. When [Sardanapalos] saw that he had been defeated by 
the Mark', he burned himself to death. The entire duration of the Assyrian kingdom was 
1,196 years, which was after the overthrow of the Babylonian kingdom. [Counting from] 
the first year of Belus, father of Ninus, there were 1,300 years. Varbak the Mede, with 
the assistance of the Armenians, eliminated the kingdom of the Assyrians, turning it into 
[the kingdom of] the Medes. After his death, the king was the Chaldean P'ul called 
E'p'ua, from the line of Ninus. From him descended the kings T'akghat'p'aghasar, 
Soghmanasar, and Senek'erim, who are mentioned in the books of the Bible. These 
[kings] ruled over the Cilicians and P'ilip'ians. From them descended Nak'onos, 
Nak'ubolos, Nabupalasar and [g49] Nabugoghonosor. Their [total regnal] years, from 
P'ul until Alexander of Macedon, is 424 years. Now after the death of Alexander there 
ruled Seleucus, Antiochus, Kilikos [Seleucus Callinichus] who built Cilicia; Soros who 
built Soria after which the Asorik' (Assyrians) are named. Until Soros, they were called 
Chaldeans; and Seleucus who built Seleucia. Antiochus [re]built Antioch after it had 
been ruined by Solomon. Similarly, Seleucus at Alexander's order [re]built Edessa 
— which had been built by Nimrod and demolished by Senek'erim. This same Seleucus 
established a multitude of people to dwell in Tarsus in Cilicia. Because of the unhealthy 
nature of the place, they had not lived there previously. 



In the 1 8th year of Amaziah, king of Judah, Jeroboam ruled over Israel for 40 years; 
while in Egypt, Tulo't'is ruled for 13 years. Amaziah fought with Joas, king of Israel, was 
wounded and died. Then the Israelites came to Jerusalem, demolished 400 fathoms of 
the wall, took the gold and silver from the House of the Lord and the House of the king, 
and returned to Samaria. Amaziah was brought to Jerusalem and buried. Then his son 
[g50] Azariah succeeded him for 52 years. Reaching the age of 68, he died. 

In the first year of Azariah, who is Uzziah, T'aspinos was judge of the Athenians for 27 
years. In the second year of Uzziah, Statis ruled as king in Egypt, for 25 years. In the 
10th year of Uzziah, P'rikos ruled over the Latins for 23 years. In the 27th year of 
Uzziah, Usrat'on reigned in Egypt for 9 years. The Egyptians called him Erakle's. In the 
28th year of Uzziah, the judge of the Athenians was Agmistor for 20 years. In the 29th 
year of King Uzziah of Judah, Zak'aria reigned over Israel for 6 years and 4 months. 
After Zak'aria, Sellom ruled over Israel for one year. He was followed by Menahem for 
10 years. In his 24th regnal year Uzziah dared to cast incense in the Temple, and became 
covered all over his body with leprosy, and [g51] Isaiah was prevented from prophesying 
for 24 years. He remained silent for 28 years, until Uzziah died, and thereafter 
prophesied for 61 years. In the 33rd year of Uzziah, Romulus (Amulos) ruled the Latins 
for 43 years. In the 34th year of Uzziah, P'ua, king of the Babylonians arose and went 
against Samaria, took 1,000 talents of gold from Menahem and turned back. In the 36th 
year of Uzziah, Basmos reigned over the Egyptians for 10 years. In the 40th year of 
Uzziah king of Judah, P'ake'e' ruled over Israel for 10 years. In the 41st year of Uzziah, 
Ko'nos the second king ruled over the Macedonians for 12 years. Over the Assyrians 
there reigned T'akghat'p'aghsar for 35 years. In the 46th year of Uzziah, Kuk'ros reigned 
over Egypt for 44 years. In the 48th year of Uzziah, the first king reigned over the 
Lydians (Liwdat'wots') [g52]. 

Tiglathpilesar, king of the Assyrians, arose and enslaved Judah and a large part of Israel. 
This was the beginning of the captivity of Israel. Grandee princes were taken captive: 
Inabe'l, Be't'mek'a, Enok', Kants, Esur, Geghad, Gawdi, and the country of the Nephilim. 
After the death of Uzziah, the glory of the Lord appeared in the Temple. After the death 
of Uzziah, his son Jotham (Yovat'am) ruled for 16 years. He conquered the Ammonites 
and put them under taxation. In the third year of Jotham, the third king of the 
Macedonians, Tunios ruled for 38 years. They are related to the Armenians. After 
Jotham his son, Ahaz (Ak'az) ruled for 16 years. He worked evil before the Lord. 

Pekah (P'ake'e'), king of Israel, took Hr'ason, king of Damascus, went against Judah, and 
killed 120,000. Then Ahaz sent mercenaries from Tiglathpilesar and he came [g53] and 
killed Hr'ason, enslaved the Edomites, and departed. In the second year of Ahaz, Hosea 
revolted from Pekah, killed him, then ruled over Israel himself for 9 years. In the 7th year 
of Ahaz's reign, Shalmaneser ruled over the Assyrians for 14 years. He came against 



Israel and placed it under taxation. After a while Hosea rebelled and sent to Abimelech 
the Kushite, which is Ethiopia, who then was in Egypt, to come to aid him. In the 7th 
year of Hosea and the 8th year of Ahaz, Shalmaneser arose and came against Samaria, 
besieging it for 3 years. Then he captured Samaria and took the 10 tribes captive to 
Babylon. The [total] years of the kings of Israel was 250, and then they were eliminated. 
[Dating] from Adam there were 4,330 years. 

Ahaz took down the [model of] 12 bulls on the sea which King Solomon had made. 
After the death of Ahaz, Hezekiah ruled in Jerusalem for 29 years, living 54 years. 
Samaria remained under Assyrian control. In the 8th year of Hezekiah, Shalmaneser sent 
guards to the Samarian areas. Up to this point, those called Latins had 15 kings. In the 
7th year [g55] of Ahaz, Romulus ruled. He built the city of Rome in his name, though 
some say it was named after his daughter, who was named Hr'ome'. Thereafter they were 
called Romans. 

In this period the island of Rhodes was built up. It has the fruit of juniper trees. In this 
period the city of Salinos was constructed in Sicily, and the city of Trapizond (Trap'or) 
[was built] in Pontos. In Bithynia, Kizikon was built, in Italy, Colonea and Lukania [were 
built]. It was at this time that the Lacedemonians [Spartans] set up their first kings. The 
first was Abios, and others ruled for 340 years. In this period [in Rome] they built 24 
temples, two areopagi, and [g55] 324 streets, 80 golden idols, and 64 statues made from 
ivory, and 46,603 mansions. There were 1,795 princely houses, and 1,352 acquaducts to 
bring water to the city. [There were] 2,074 bakers, and 3,785 bronze talismans. After a 
long period of time, Titus and Vespasian brought [to Rome] the gates of Jerusalem, the 
columns of the Temple and other things, and they added to the adornments of Rome. 
The circumference of the city is 40 miles and each of the four sides has 12 miles inside. 
A mile corresponds to 1 2 acres, the length of a path drawn by oxen. The number of 
inhabitants were 120,000, and the second time they were counted there were 160,000 
inhabitants. The third [census] found [g56] 270,000; the fourth, 460,000; the fifth, 
4,600,000. During the reign of Claudius [the population of Rome was] 6,940,000. 
During the reign of Augustus and Archelaeus, son of Herod, there was a great famine in 
Rome when a mod of grain cost 27 1/2 dahekans. During the reign of Titus a plague 
occurred there in which 10,000 folk died in a single day. 

In this period lions devoured the Samaritans. Shalmaneser sent from captivity a priest 
named Ezra, who taught them the faith and who wrote for them in Syriac the five books 
of Moses. It is for this reason that the Samaritans do not accept other books or 
prophecies excepting Genesis [?] 

In the 6th year of Hezekiah, Senek'erim ruled as king of the Assyrians. His troops went 
to Jerusalem and killed 185,000 people. Senek'erim, after ruling for 9 years, was slain by 



his sons who went to Armenia. Then his son Esarhaddon (Asurdan) ruled for 3 years. In 
Egypt, Sawik'on the Indian ruled for 12 years while [g57] P'ritikos ruled over the 
Macedonians for 51 years. In the 18th year of Hezekiah, Beldan who is Baghtan, ruled 
over the Assyrians. He sent an offering to Hezekiah in Jerusalem for the return [from 
eclipse] of the sun, since he knew that the god of Israel was a sign of life for Hezekiah. 
And he preached the name of the Lord god throughout the country of the Babylonians 
and Assyrians. He also fashioned an image of the true God and had it worshipped. And 
he turned his entire land from worshipping the sun. 

In the 20th year of Hezekiah, Kurtakos ruled the Medes for 13 years. In the 29th year of 
Hezekiah, Archos (Trok'os) the Indian ruled in Egypt for 20 years. Following Hezekiah, 
Manasseh ruled for 55 years. He lived for 67 years. In the second year of his reign he 
killed the prophet Isaiah and shed much innocent blood. And he [g58] was dropped by 
the hand of God and fell into the hands of the Assyrian troops. They took him captive to 
Assyria and placed him in a well, in fetters. He recited solemn prayers of repentance to 
the all powerful Lord. God accepted his entreaties and released him in his 37th year. The 
prophet Isaiah was buried in Siloam (Selov) which received the grace of healing. Selov 
was called "sent" and for two reasons. One was because of Isaiah who is called the sent 
(ar'ak'eal, "apostle") in the [Biblical] passage [Isaiah 6.8] which says "Here I am, Lord, 
send me." The other reason was that when foreigners came to cut off the water supply 
and when Isaiah went among the people, he was sent by God to Jerusalem [to resist] the 
besiegement by the Assyrians. 

In the 4th year of Manasseh, Diuk'layos ruled over the Medes for 54 years. In the 21st 
year of Manasseh, Martis ruled Egypt for 2 years. In the 29th year of Manasseh, Arge'os 
ruled the Macedonians for 38 years. In the 33rd year of Manasseh, Step'ant'os ruled in 
Egypt for [g59] 5 years. In the 25th year of Manasseh, Senecherib the Younger ruled 
over the Assyrians for 35 years. In the 40th year of Manasseh, Taklios ruled as king over 
the Romans for 32 years. It was he who introduced royal purple clothing and a golden 
scepter. We call him Tullos. At this time in Egypt there ruled Nek'on for 1 8 years. In the 
44th year of Manasseh, P'somitikos ruled in Egypt for 44 years. In this period the first 
construction of Biwzand [Byzantium] took place by Prince Biwzos; and after 970 years it 
was expanded and renovated by Constantine and [re]named Constantinople. In this 
period the [institution of] judges in Athens came to an end. 

After Manasseh, Amon ruled Judah for 12 years. In his third [g60] year Phraortes 
(Nbraktios) ruled as king over the Medes for 14 years. In the 12th year of Amon's reign, 
Nabupalasar ruled over the Assyrians for 32 years. He was a mage. In the same year 
Philip ruled over the Macedonians for 38 years. In the third year of Amon's reign, Josiah 
was born. Amon worshipped idols. His servants attacked him and he died. He lived for 
24 years. 



His son Josiah ruled as king in Jerusalem for 3 1 years, and lived for 39 years. He had 
four sons: Yovhanne's, Yovakim, Yovak'az, and Sedekia. In these days Sop'onia from the 
line of Shmawon was prophesying. In the 10th year of Josiah, Markos Anikos ruled as 
king over the Romans for 24 years. In the 13th year of Josiah, Jeremiah began to 
prophesy. In the 14th year of Josiah, Kostandos ruled as king over the Macedonians for 
32 years. He went and conquered Nineveh and the Assyrians. In Josiah's 30th year 
[g61], Neco (Nek'awov) who is Nep'sos, ruled as king in Egypt for 6 years. He arose and 
went to the Euphratean areas, warring against the Assyrians at Mnbe'ch. Then Josiah 
arose and went against him, without God's command, and was killed by him and buried 
in Jerusalem. His son, Yovak'az ruled after him. After three months Neco the Lame 
turned and took Yovak'az to Egypt, establishing the latter's brother, Yovakim, as king. 
[Neco] also imposed a tax of 10 talents of gold and 100 of silver. He ruled for 12 years. 

In the third year of Jehoiakim's reign, Tarkinos Ubrikos ruled as king over the Romans 
for 38 years. In the same year Nebuchadrezzar /Nebuchadrezzar (Nabugodonosor) the 
Chaldean, son of Nabupalasar, ruled the Assyrians for 44 years. He came to Jerusalem 
and took into captivity the vessels from the House of the Lord. He also laid a tribute on 
Jehoiakim and took Daniel and his companions into captivity. And he [rejbuilt in the 
name of the Assyrians the city of Mnbe'ch, which had been pulled down by Neco. He 
placed there the idol of Cainan, and called [the city] Hieropolis, which translates "city of 
priests" [g62] after the sorcerer priests, whose sect was later studied by Bardesan. 

Once again Neco came to the Euphratean areas and [this time] he was killed by 
Nabugodonosor. Then P'sant'os ruled in Egypt for 17 years. In the 8th year of Yovakim 
and the 5th year of Nebuchadrezzar , the latter came to Jerusalem, took the tribute, and 
departed. In the 8th year of Nebuchadrezzar , Yovakim died and his son Jehoiachin, who 
is Yek'onia, reigned for three years. He departed from [the ways of] the Lord. Then 
Nebuchadrezzar came to Jerusalem, captured Yek'onia, his mother, and princes and took 
them to Babylon where they were kept in fetters for 35 years. Then [Nebuchadrezzar ] 
made Sedeskia king in Jerusalem. Earlier, Nebuchadrezzar 's father, Nabopolassar, had 
sent him to Jerusalem and when he returned he found that his father had died, and he 
took over the kingdom. In the 19th year of Nebuchadrezzar , Nabuzardan came and 
burned Jerusalem and the Temple after the captivity and death of Sedekia, who had ruled 
for 1 1 years. In the fourth year of Sedekia, there ruled over the Medes [g63] Astyages 
(Istikos) for 38 years. In the 1 1th year of Sedekia, Vaphres (Ep'ros) reigned over Egypt 
for 27 years. In the sameyear Sedekia was taken captive with all the Jews excepting a few 
poor folk who worked for the court. However, before the destruction of the Temple, the 
prophet Jeremiah had taken and was keeping the Tabernacle of the Lord. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Jerusalem's Time of Troubles 



In the fourth year of Yovakim, which was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar, before the 
1 1th year of Sedekia which was the last destruction of Jerusalem, and after the 
destruction of Jerusalem, Nebuchadrezzar arose and went against Tyre (Sur), demolished 
it, and threw the stones into the sea. The Tyrians took their belongings, also threw them 
into the sea, and then fled by boat. [The Assyrians] killed Hiram, king of Tyre. [Tyre] 
had been [ruled by] the kings of Judah throughout its entire history. Nebuchadrezzar 
gave Egypt over to the toops for looting in return for their work at Tyre. 

In the 27th year of the captivity of Jerusalem, Nebuchadrezzar died [g64] after a reign of 
20 years. His son Amel-Marduk (Ilmarovdak) [Evil-merodach] succeeded him for three 
years. It was he who removed Ek'onia from prison and had him eat at the royal table. 
After him came Baghtasar for twoyears. In the first year of Baghtasar's reign, Daniel saw 
the vision of the four beasts, on the example of the four kingdoms of the world. Darius 
the Mede, [this people] who are the Mar, slew Baghtasar and turned the kingdom to the 
Chaldeans. In Darius the Mede's day, Daniel was put back into prison [but subsequently] 
Darius appointed him as superior to all the princes. Then Cyrus the Persian killed Darius 
and did away with the kingdom of the Medes and Assyrians. Cyrus put the seat of his 
kingdom in Babylon and made Daniel faithful to him. 

Daniel, inspried by zeal for God, destroyed the idol of Bel which was erected in the 
name of Vilos, and he slew the dragon. Furious at him [the king] again threw him into a 
den with seven lions. Then Habakkuk was sent by God to bring food to Daniel, and 
Daniel was saved from the cubs of his enemies. In this year Habakkuk died and Daniel 
saw a vision by which he learned that the 70 years [of chastisement] had ended, that 
[chastisement] which God had [revealed] [g65] by means of the prophet Jeremiah. 
[Daniel] fasted for 21 days. He saw, by the Tigris River, a man dressed in white, who 
told him: "For 21 days I have fought with the prince of the Persians in order that the sons 
of your people be returned." And indeed, in the first year of Cyrus, 50,000 [of the 



Jewish captives] returned and they began to [rejbuild the Temple. In the 60th year of the 
captivity of the Jews, Cyrus was killed by his wife, Maksata, and Cambyses took over his 
realm. The Jews say that he was styled Nebuchadrezzar, who slew Arp'aksat' the Mede. 
During [Cambyses'] day the affair of the woman Judith occurred, she who slew 
Holophernes who was of the line of Magog, who are the Turks. 

After Cambyses had ruled for 8 years, his two brother, who were mages, took the 
kingdom, for 7 years. After them there ruled Darius the Mede for 36 years. In his third 
year was completed the second 70 [year] captivity of the Jews after the burning of the 
Temple. The first 70 [year captivity] was determined by Jeremiah [g66] and testified to 
by Zak'aria and Ange'as who said [Jeremiah 1.12]: "How long will you have no mercy on 
Jerusalem and the cities of Judah...[ against which you have had indignation] these 70 
years?" From the building by Solomon until the 6th year of Darius totals 508 years. In 
the 15th year of Darius, the 5th century was concluded; and in the 16th year of Darius 
the 6th century began. 

After Darius his son, Xerxes, ruled for 21 years. In the second year of his reign he took 
Egypt, and in the 2 1 st year he took and burned Athens, and took many cities. In his day 
the affair ofEsther took place involving Mordecai and Haman who was of the 
Amalekites. But [the historian] John [of Asia] does not believe that the events [involving] 
Esther occurred at this point, otherwise why did Ezra not write about them? And some 
say that [g67] the return of the Jews occurred then, while others put it under Darius. 
After Xerxes, Artawanos ruled for five months, and after him Artaxerxes (Artashe's) 
Longimanus ruled for 41 years. In his 7th year the scribe Ezra went to [reconstruct the 
walls of Jerusalem. Through God's grace he wrote down the Old Testament. Through 
God's care, old exemplars had been preserved in various places which were later found 
to agree with one another. 

In the 20th year of Artaxerxes his cupbearer, Nehemiah, went to assist Ezra. He 
remained there in Jerusalem, building, for 12 years. [This] foundation of Jerusalem was 
laid during the priesthood of Yovidia, son of Eghise'. Nemiah also had the burnt ashes [of 
sacred writings] retrieved from a well where they had been forgotten for 70 years. When 
he placed them on the altar, the [sacred flame] lit, as before. 

Following Longimanus, another Artaxerxes (Artashe's) reigned for two months. After 
him Sogdianos (Sikdinos) ruled for seven months. He was followed by Darius Nothus, 
the bastard, for 19 years. In the 15th year of his reign Egypt revolted from the Persians 
and set up Dionysius as their king [g68], after an interregnum of 124 years. After 
Alexander, Pertikos ruled over the Macedonians for 28 years. In the 19th year of Darius, 
Orestes (Aristos) ruled the Macedonians for three years. Meanwhile in Rome, Calorion 
reigned. He warred against the Gauls (Kalatukk') and Galatians. After 100 years the 



Romans were conquered. They took Rome and demolished it to its foundations, leaving 
only the royal palace. In the same period there was a severe earthquake, and the earth 
swallowed many cities. The Persians were ruled by Artaxerxes Mnemon for 40 years. 
The Hebrews say that it was under him that [the events] of Esther occurred. In the 1 5th 
year of Artaxerxes, the Autocrat of Rome [named] Africanus destroyed Carthage and 
rebuilt it in his own name, calling it Africa. In Egypt, Ephirites (Umbetris) ruled for six 
years, while Archelaus ruled over the Macedonians for four years. Then Dalamutos 
(Amutos) ruled again for one year. And then [g69] Pusinos for one year, followed by 
Amundis for six years. In the 16th year of Artaxerxes, Archelaus ruled the Maceonians 
for 18 years. In the 20th year of Artaxerxes, P'sunt'os ruled in Egypt for one year and 
after him, Maris for one year, followed by Niktapis for 18 years. In the 35th year of 
Artaxerxes, Alexander ruled over the Macedonians for one year, followed by Ptolemy for 
three years. In the 40th year of Artaxerxes, Dios (Te'ous) ruled the Egyptians for two 
years. He was followed by Nectanebo (Nenk'debos) for 12 years. After Artaxerxes, 
another Artaxerxes called Ochus (Ukos) ruled over the Persians. He subdued Egypt and 
eliminated their kingdom. Nectanebo, king of Egypt, fled to Ethiopia, knowing through 
magic [g70] about the impending disaster, they say that he, Nectanebo, was the father of 
Alexander. The kingship of Egypt was empty for 42 years until the advent of Punt'imos 
called Ptolemy, one of Alexander's friend. 

Artaxerxes Ochus, king of Persia, made the Jews submit and took and settled them by 
the Caspian Sea in the city of Hyrcania. In this period Philip, Alexander's father, ruled as 
king over the Macedonians for 28 years. [Philip's] wife's name was Olympias. It was in 
this period that the philosophers Aristotle and Epicurus appeared. In the 13 th year of the 
Persian [king] Ochus, Alexander was born in the eighth year of his father's reign. After 
Ochus, his son Arisbole's ruled as king over the Persians. He was followed by Darius son 
of Artaxerxes (Artashir) for six years. 

In the first year of [Darius'] rule Philip's son Alexander ruled over the Macedonians for 
20 years. At first he ruled over Hellas. Although he was [just] three cubits in height, he 
was very intelligent and brave. He eliminated [g71] 35 kings of the world. He possessed 
120,000 troops. In the sixth year of his reign, which was also the sixth year of Darious, 
[Greeks and Persians] warred at Sis in Cilicia, and Darius died. With him ended the 
kingdom of the Persians which had lasted 231 years. Alexander built 12 cities named 
after himself. He emplaced the Gate of the Huns so that they would not pollute his land. 
That Gate was made of iron and stood 12 cubits high and eight cubits wide. He came to 
Jerusalem and offered prayers to God and the Jews allowed it. He honored the chief 
priest Antromak'os, and when the Samaritans killed the chief priest Antromak'os for 
allowing a pagan to worship God, Alexander heard about this. He came to Jerusalem, 
destroyed Samaria, and exterminated the people. Then he brought Macedonians and 
settled them in Samaria. After a reign of 12 years and 7 months he died from poisoning 



in Babylon. He was the first king [g72] of the Greeks. After him Ptolemy ruled in Egypt. 
It was [Ptolemy] who brought [Alexander's] body to Egypt and buried it. Thus was 
fulfilled the prophecy that the he-goat would conquer Darius the ram. And thus, too, was 
one horn removed, leaving four horns, [Alexander's] comrades [Daniel 8.7-8]. There 
were 10 horns after that, the horns divided into 10 kings. 

Ptolemy ruled for 40 years. In his first year he took Jerusalem through treachery. Then 
he took captives under the chief priest Onias to Egypt. Other kings were called Ptolemids 
after Ptolemy's name. In the fourth year of Ptolemy's reign, Antigonus ruled over all Asia 
for 18 years. He rebuilt Antioch after the name of his son, Antiochus. In the 13th year of 
Ptolemy, Seleucus ruled for 33 years over the Assyrians and Babylonians as far as the 
Indians. He finished the construction of Antioch and also built Seleucia, Laodicea, 
Apamea, Beria which is Aleppo, Balue, and Marash [g73] and settled Jews in them. And 
he honored them and allowed them to go and come to him as his dear ones. It was in this 
period that the great tower of Alexandria was built in the sea of Nephros, and named 
Prutos. It was built by Sostratos of Kandi in a place across from Alexandria between land 
and the sea. Seleucus seized Demetrius in Cilicia and killed him. [Demetrius] had been 
ruling in rebellion; and then [Seleucus] himself ruled all of Asia. The start of his reign 
which was 12 years following the death of Alexander also marks the inception of dating 
according to the Syrian Era. 

After the first Ptolemy ruled as king in Egypt, Ptolemy Philadelphius reigned for 38 
years. In his first year Ptolemy Ceraunus ruled over the Macedonians for one year. He 
was followed by Meleager for two months and Antipater for 26 days. After Antipater, 
Sosthenes ruled for two years. In the fifth year of Ptolemy [g74], Antiochus Soter 
reigned for 19 years, after Seleucus. In the sixth year of Ptolemy, Antigonus ruled over 
the Macedonians for 36 years. In this same year, the 34th year of the Syrian Era, 72 
translators translated [the Biblical] books on the island of Cyprus. [The group of 
translators] comprised six men for each of the 12 tribes of the children of Israel. [They 
were], 

from the line of Ruben: Yovsepos, Ezekiel, Eghise'e', Zak'aria, Yovhanne's, 
Ezekiel; 

from the line of Shmawon: Juda, Shmawon, Ade', Samuel'l, Mat'e', Saghamia; 

from the line of Levi: Noam, Yovse'p', T'e'odos, Bosos, Urania, Tukisos; 

from the line of Juda: Jonathan, Abari, Elise', Anania, Zak'aria, Ezekia; 

from the line of Issachar: Isaac, Jacob, Jesu, Shmbat, Shmawon, Levi; 



from the line of Zebulon: Juda, Yovse'p', Shmawon, Zak'aria, Shmawon, 
Saghamia; 

from the line of Gad: Smbatia, Sedekia, Yakovb, Isahak, Esayi, Matt'e'os; 

from the line of Asher: T'e'odos, Yason, Jesu, T'e'odotos, Yovhanne's, 
Jonathan; 

from the line of Dan: T'e'op'ile', Abraham, Idasmos, Isan, Eremia, Daniel; 

from the line of Naphthali [g75]: Jeremiah, Lazaru, Zachariah, Bania, 
Eghiske', Tat'an; 

from the line of Benjamin: Yovhanne's, Ilawos, Edki, T'e'odos, Nersam, 
Ezekiel; 

from the line of Joseph: Caleb, Samuel, Joseph, Juda, Jonathan, T'osdi. 

They translated [the Bible] into Greek on the island of Cyprus, took [their work] to 
Egypt, and deposited it in the Palace. Others say that the place where the translation was 
made was on the island of Pharos. However, the truth is as we have described it. 

In 62 of the Syrian Era [B.C. 250] and after 72 years of submission to the Greeks, the 
eastern areas of the Persians and the East reasoned that "the Macedonians have split 
apart and have grown weak. Moreover, they are distant from us and keep us in disorder 
and with torments. What is there between them and us? Come, let us have a king closer 
to us." And they enthroned over themselves in the city of Bahl, Arshak the brave, one of 
the descendants of Abraham from Kendura. This bordered the country of the Medes. 
Similarly the [people of] the land of the Hyrcanians who lived in the northern parts of the 
land of the Persians, when they saw that the House of the Persians had enthroned their 
own king, they also enthroned a king of their own, sometimes obeying the Parthians and 
other times, not. Similarly [g76] the Armenians [established their own king] after the 
brave, triumphant and frightening kings from the line of Hayk who had done away with 
the kingdom of the Medes and had subdued all the kingdoms of the North and all the 
surrounding peoples. We were unable to find this set down in their writing. [Such 
Haykazean kings] ruled until Alexander who killed King Vahe' the Haykid and did away 
with the kingdom of the Armenians. [The Armenians had remained without a king] until 
this period, when again they established their kingdom from Palestine to the T'etalik', and 
to the other side of the Caspian Sea and Mount Caucasus. This [new line] began with 
Arshak's brother, Vagharshak, and endured until the last Arshak. We leave [a description 
of them] to other learned and trustworthy writers. 



Following Philadelphius, Ptolemy Eugertes (Arkadis) ruled Egypt. And in the same year 
there ruled over the Syrians Seleucus Callinicus, and over the Macedonians Demetrius 
Phillipus. In this period the chief priest was Onias, son of Simon the Just [g77]. This 
Onias did not want to pay taxes to Ptolemy and wanted to come to Jerusalem. They sent 
Josephus to make peace and he found favor before Ptolemy and received from him rule 
of the military over all Judah (Hre'astan). 

In 87 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 225] Seleucus Ceraunus ruled over the Syrians for three 
years. He was succeeded by Antiochus the Great for 36 years. It was in this period that 
the Maccabeans were martyred. 

In 93 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 219] Ptolemy Philapator ruled over the Egyptians for 17 
years. He greatly harassed the Jews. Antiochus fought with and defeated him, and then 
put Egypt under his rule. Leaving Egypt, he took Jerusalem. The first Book of 
Maccabees describes this. 

In 110 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 202] Ptolemy Epiphanes ruled over Egypt for 21 years. 
He sent the general Scopas who subdued Judah and Palestine. Then Antiochus arose 
against him [g78], defeated him and took the cities for himself. This Antiochus paved the 
roads of the cities and placed markers calcd p'arsaxs [to measure distance] along the 
roads. He built stone bridges over rivers and streams and made the roads level to ease 
travelling. In the 1 1th year of his reign he made war against the Romans and was 
defeated. He sent his son to Rome as a hostage and provided a yearly tax of 1,000 talents 
of gold. This was the beginning of Syria's payment of taxes to Rome. 

In the third year of Antiochus, Philip ruled over the Macedonians for 24 years. And it 
was in this time that the prophecy of Daniel was fulfilled which said that the king of the 
North would war against the king of the south — that is, Antiochus with Ptolemy. Some 
say that [Ptolemy] had given his daughter to him, but later took her back. 

This Antiochus died in the land of the Elamites, stoned to death in the temple of their 
goddess Nena [g79]. [Antiochus] had [earlier] become possessed by a demon. Shmona 
and her sons were killed by him. [Antiochus] then took the advice of the wise men who 
told him to have fetched the remains of the people he had killed, to fall on his face in 
front of them, and to repent. And [Antiochus] commanded that the relics be brought to 
him. They placed the remains in baskets and brought them by donkey until they 
approached the city of Hadax, where some folk encountered them and informed them of 
the king's death. They hid the remains at the place where they heard these tidings. 
Afterwards [the relics] were revaled through miracles. And they built a monastery there 
which exists to this day. 



After the death of Antiochus, Seleucus ruled and his loyal Diodorus greatly harassed the 
Jews and was punished by God. 

In 131 of the Syrian Era [B.C. 181] Antiochus Epiphanes ruled in Antioch, son of 
Antiochus who had been a hostage in Rome for 1 1 years. He went against Ptolemy in 
Egypt and the Romans stopped him. And so he turned and went against Judah. He gave 
the dignity of high priest to Onias' brother, Jason, which caused disturbance between the 
two [brothers]. Matthias, son of John, son of Shmawon the priest who was of the sons 
of Jonathan [g80] saw in Modin. He had five sons: John, Shmawon, Judah Maccabee, 
Eliezer Awaran, and Jonathan. He killed those who had transgressed God['s commands] 
and then arose with his sons onto the mountain and rebelled from Antiochus. 

In the year 149 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 163] Antiochus Epiphanes died in Persia, 
suffering [the same] blows ashis father, through the anger of God. For it had been 
Antiochus the Great who had defiled the Temple by erecting in it the image of Zeus, and 
on Mount Gerizim he built a temple to Zeus Xanthus as the Samaritans had requested. In 
the 18th year of Ptolemy, Epiphanes Eupator ruled for two years. He greatly harassed 
[g81] the Jews. He sent his military commander, Xo'r'gho'ra, with 120,000 troops against 
Jerusalem. Eliezer died under an elephant and a great multitude of Jews were destroyed. 
When they buried them, they found underneath their clothes imatges of the idols. 

In this period Onias, without God's command, built a temple at Elispontos in Egypt 
similar to the Temple of Jerusalem. Priestly activity was conducted there according to the 
[religous] laws. Judah Maccabee rennovated the Temple in Jerusalem which continued to 
flourish until [the era of] Titus and Vespasian. After Judah came Jonathan who was slain 
along with Alexander by Tryphon. Simon (Shmawon) then occupied his position. He 
sent to Rome a golden shield and had brought a bronze tablet as a sign of the oath of 
allegiance [g82]. And he sent his son John and destroyed the troops of Antiochus and 
was freed from their taxes. It was in this period that the second Book of Maccabees 
concluded. 

In 174 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 138] Simon was slain by Ptolemy and his place was 
taken by John. In these times a Jew became head of Edessa and remained in power until 
the ancestors of King Abgar came there. In this period John, the chief priest of the Jews, 
went to Hyrcania to war with them and for that reason was called Hyrcanus. In this 
period Antiochus Agrippa reigned. He came to Jerusalem and harassed them. John 
Hyrcanus opened the tomb of King David and removed gold and the ornaments of all 
the kings, and took 3,000 talents of gold. Of this he gave 300 talents to Antiochus [g83] 
who then departed. In this period Hyrcanus ruined Samaria. 

In the year 196 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 117], Antiochus Soter reigned for 17 years. In 



the same year Antiochus and Hyrcanus with him went and killed the king of the 
Parthians, Sistis (?). 

In the fourth year of Ptolemy, Antiochus Cyzikos ruled in Asorestan for 1 8 years. In the 
1 1th year of Ptolemy, John Hyrcanus died and his position was taken by Aristobulus, son 
of Jonathan, for one year. Earlier he had been crowned king [and now became] High 
Priest. His two brothers Alexander and Antiochus treacherously killed each other 
according to the prophesy of their father with whom God spoke. Following Aristobulus, 
his other brother, John, called Yanne', took his position for 17 years. He tormented his 
own people, the Jews. 

In this period Ptolemy was chased away by his mother, Cleopatra, and [g84] Ptolemy 
Alexander ruled for 10 years. In his sixth year the kings of the Asians and Syrians were 
eliminated and Antioch submitted to the Romans. The books of the Old Testament and 
[their narrations] end at this point. From Adam to this point, 5,072 years [had elapsed], 
and from here until the birth of Our Lord are 124 years. The duration of the kings of 
Asia, from Seleucus who ruled after Alexander until the Romans ruled, was 216 years. 

In 222 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 90] the persecuted Ptolemy returned to his throne [and 
ruled for] eight years. In 237 [of the Syrian Era, B.C. 75] Ptolemy Dionysius ruled for 
30 years. He was the son of Soter and the brother of Cleopatra. In the fifth year of 
Ptolemy there died John Onias alwso called Alexander, and his wife, Alexandra, also 
called Salome who kept the [religious] laws, ruled the kingdom for nine years. She had 
three sons: Hyrcanus, Aristobulus, and Antiochus. Hyrcanus became the High Priest but 
his brother disputed with him until he took the kingdom. Then Pompey, the military 
commander of the Romans came and [g85] carried off Aristobulus in chains and 
established Hyrcanus as High Priest for 34 years. He [re]built the wall of Jerusalem 
which had been demolished by Pompey. It was at this time that the Jews became tax 
payers to the Romans. Pompey took much territory from the Armenians, Syrians, and 
Arabs, and grew so great that he was styled Autocrator. 

In this period Ptolemy died and Cleopatra ruled for 22 years. In her second year Pompey 
was slain by Gaius Julius Caesar. 

Herod lived in these times. Here is his genealogy. [Herod's father] a man named 
Antipater, son of Herod, was from Ascalon and was chief priest of the idol of Apollo. He 
was enslaved by the Edomites and his father, Herod, was unable to save him. He was 
nourished and raised among the Edomites and took as a wife Cypridis, the daughter of 
Aretas, king of the Arabs. He became friendly with Hyrcanus [g86] the High Priest and 
helped him in his battle with his brother. For this he went to Pompey and became 
acquainted with the Romans. They designated him prince of the Jews. Now [Antipater] 



had four sons and a daughter named Salome, [the sons] Joseph and Phessalus were 
princes of the Jews with their father. One of the Jews poisoned Antipater and two of his 
sons, and then Herod became prince of the Jews in his father's place. In his hour of need 
[Herod] went to Rome and informed them [about the goings on]. 

In this period Barzaphran, the general of Armenia, came and enslaved Judah and took 
captive Hyrcanus, Herod's brother Pheroras, while Herod fled to Rome. Then he took 
over the kingdom [g87] of the Jews. He came [back] and killed Antigonus whom the 
Armenians had installed, and he himself sat [on the throne]. Then when Hyrcanus 
returned from the Bagratids [after] their attack on Jerusalem, Herod also killed him and 
his son, Jonathan. With this the prophecy was fulfilled which says: "Ruler and chief shall 
not depart from Judah until the one appears to whom the kingdom belongs" [Gen. 
49. 10]. It was at this point that leaders departed from the Jews. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



And then it was that the Lord was born like a king's son in Bethlehem, in fulfillment of 
the [prophecy] of Daniel about the sevens, that "there shall be seven weeks and then 
sixty-two weeks" [Daniel 9.22-24; Jeremiah 29.20], beginning in the sixth year of Darius 
and lasting for all eternity. In Abgar's translation [of the Bible] it says that Daniel had 
grown ill and was dying by the Tigris River and he fell on his face and cried out to the 
Lord: "God, show me Your Christ before I die." And Gabriel came to him and said: 
"Rest in peace, oh desirable man [g88] for the time has not come yet. First your 
[prophecy about the] sevens, then Christ will come and be crucified and He will come to 
you in Hell and free you. So comfort yourself with the hope of His coming" [Daniel 
9.21]. 

Before Daniel's vision, they used [the word] Bombios to style the designation of kings. 
But at this point they called them Autocrator. In this period the idols which were on 
[Mt.] Olympus were burned by lightning as Caesar Augustus reigned. This same 
emperor demolished the island of Lusitania and then began to demolish the islands one 
by one, since he found disturbances on the islands. But prior to this, there ruled Gaius 
called Julius, he was called "Caesar" which means in Latin "from the stomach" since this 
is how he was born, after his mother had died [g89]. It was his good fortune to rule as 
king, for kingship among the Romans had been disrupted for 462 years, from Tarquinius 
until Gaius Julius. From the founding of Rome until the second kingship, 702 years had 
elapsed. Now this Julius Caesar went to Egypt and strengthened the kingdom of the 
woman Cleopatra. The word "Gaius" translates kaynan. Andronicus says that [Caesar] 
ruled for five years before being slain secretly. Then Augustus reigned for 56 years and 
six months. 

In the eighth year of Augustus, Herod ruled over the Jews and obstructed their kingship 
and priesthood. He took the ephod and bestowed it for bribes. He ruled for 35 years. 
They did not accept him in Jerusalem at first, until he started to fight, pulling down the 
two walls and killing many of the Jews. Then it was that he ruled over them. It was he 
who arranged it that the High Priest would change each year [g90]. [Herod] sent to 



Babylon and had Ananias brought back. He made [Ananias] High Priest for a year, even 
though he was not a Levite. After him, he made Aristobulus High Priest. [Aristobulus] 
was son of the High Priest Hyrcanus and his brother's wife. Then [Herod] killed him and 
reinstated Ananias. He transgressed the limits of the law and changed them each year for 
bribes. As a result, there were many High Priests. However, when the time came for 
entering the Holy of Holies, none of them dared to do it. Only Zachariah and Abia were 
designated to enter, for they were not like the others, being pious and just. 

In the third year of Augustus, Samosata fell under Roman control. The Armenian troops 
who had been near the Euphrates were defeated and gave taxes to Mesopotamia. In this 
period Augustus' general, Antony, rebelled from Augustus. He went to Egypt, attracted 
by the fame of Cleopatra with whom he fell in love and ruled with. Then Augustus came 
against him, seized him, but at the entreaties of senators he let them live and things 
calmed down. Augustus sent thence a great number of captives to Rome. Cleopatra had 
a grudge against the Jews, and the Arabs [g91] and requested from Antony rule over 
them, which he gave to her. On this account a second distrubance arose betwen 
Augustus and Antony. Again Antony was defeated together with Cleopatra who resisted 
Antony together. When Antony and Cleopatra saw themselves defeated, both committed 
suicide. Then Augustus killed Cleopatra's children [named] the Sun and the Moon. With 
this ended the Egyptians' monarchy, which the Greeks called Ptolemid, and which lasted 
for 296 years, and they were thereafter controlled by the Romans. Some say that after 
Augustus killed Antony, Cleopatra, and her children, he started to be called Sebastos, 
which means "victorious." 

In this period Judas the Galilean appeared in the city of Gamagha. He and the Pharisee 
Sadovk arose and said: "It is improper for us to pay taxes to the Romans." In the 19th 
year of Augustus, [Augustus] sent his military commander, Tiberius, to Armenia, and 
[g92] made peace with them. Returning from the Armenians he went to the land of 
Cyrenaica and subdued them who lived beyond Egypt. In this period Herod built up 
Samaria and called it Sebastia after Augustus' name. He built P'anion in P'ania, and 
enlarged the palace in Jerusalem. He built the tower called Strata's Tower in the city and 
named that city Caesarea, after the emperor. He rennovated Gabas in Galilee. [Herod] 
frequently shed blood: he killed his wife named Mari and killed all those wise men 
among the Jews who knew the law. In this time glad tidings came to the Blessed Virgin, 
and after nine months and five days she bore the life-giving Word of god, our Lord Jesus 
Christ. This was in the 43rd year of Herod, which is 315 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 3]. 
From Adam until the birth of Christ 5,284 years had elapsed, this according to Eusebius. 
But according to the Septuagint it was [g93] 5,198 years. According to Ananius it was 
5,091 , and according to others, 5,503. According to the Syrians it was 5,026 years. 
[Jesus' birth] took place at the end of the year in the 12th month, on a Monday. 



In the 43rd year of Augustus, the Senate of Rome sent Prince Kiwrianos to make a 
census of the Jews and impose a tax. This was the cause of Judas the Galilean and many 
others saying: "It is not right that we should pay taxes to a mortal man." This was heard 
in Rome and [the Romans] were angry and did that [conduct a census] which had not 
been done up till then. 

In this same period our Lord was born. Lucianus the Roman, who was in this area 
described it. He wrote to the emperor telling him what had happened and saying: 
"Persians have come and entered your realm. They have brought gifts for a child born in 
Judah. But who he is or who his parents are, we still have not heard." Then the emperor 
wrote back: "We have established Herod as king over the Jews. He will write to us." The 
Magi arrived in the 35th year of Herod. Eusebius and Niwsats'i say that the Magi [g95] 
were descendants of Baghaam, while Jacob of Edessa says that they were descendants of 
Shem from the line of Ham. Others say that they were descendants of the kings of Arab 
and Saba according to the words of David. They were three kings as three people offered 
gifts. Some say, with Micah, that they were eight kings, eight rulers of men. Saint James 
says they were 12 princes. It was found in books that [they came with] 3,000 cavalry and 
500 infantry. When they reached the Euphrates River, at the place called Callinicus, 
which is Ragha, and learned that there was famine in Judah, they left their multitude 
there and 12 princes with 1,000 cavalry went on and saw [Jesus]. When they had seen 
him, they returned to their troops. Their names were: 

Dahandur, son of Artawaz, 

Shat'e'p', son of Gudbar, 

Arshak, son of Mahdug, 

Zrewant, son of Variguid, 

Arihu, son of Xostrov, 

Artashe's, son of Uliat', 

Esht'ankuza, son of Ishron, 

Mehduk', son of Hum, 

Ark'shirish, son of Sahapan, 

Saltana, son of Beltan, and Marudok, son of Bel. 

The name of the king who sent them was P'ir-Shapuh. Some say that it was two years 
after [g95] the birth that the Magi arrived, but others say that they were advised by the 
stars two years in advance and then they arose and came. The Lord was born at night, 
and the Magi arrived in the morning. Mary, the Mother of God, remained in Bethlehem 
for 40 days and then went to the Temple. Simon the old man took the Anointed One in 
his arms. By the command of the Holy Spirit [Simon], who was one of the Translators 
[of the Septuagint], was kept alive from the time of Ptolemy. Now when [Simon] had 
been translating, the [book of the] prophet Isaiah, he came to the passage which says: 



"Behold a virgin will get pregnant and give birth" [Isaiah 7. 14]. When he had written this 
[translation] he regretted it and said: "How ill the pagans believe this? Rather, they will 
laugh at us." He erased what he had just written and again was saddened and said: "But 
my colleagues will write this and I will be ridiculed because of the discrepancy [of having 
omitted it]." In sorrow, he and his colleagues fell asleep and when they awoke they saw 
[that passage] written as it were in wondrous gold letters. Overjoyed, Simon wept and 
envied the era of the one born from a virgin, the eyes which woul see Him and the lips 
which would kiss Emmanuel. Then the Spirit said to him: "You will not see death until 
you have seen the Anointed One." And the word of the Lord was fulfilled. At that time 
[when the promise was made] Simon was 60 years old [g96], and he lived an additional 
344 years until his wish came true. Now Joseph and Mary took the child and went to 
Nazareth after presenting [Him in the Temple]. At the angel's order they went to Egypt 
62 years after the birth of the Lord. Others say that they went there two years after. 

Herod destroyed the children, having been fooled by the Magi. He furiously burned the 
writings of the Jews and wiped out recollection of the kingdom and the priesthood so that 
he and his own sons should inherit the kingdom. However, by the providence of God, 
these writings were preserved in Egypt and in other lands. And God struck Herod with 
picked pains from head to foot. All his limbs festered and the doctors were unable to 
help him. They put him into warm olive oil and his pains increased. He seized the 
principal folk of the Jews and put them into prison. And then he ordered his son-in-law, 
Alexius, and his sister, Salome, that when he died, they should kill [the people he had 
imprisoned]. That way, the Jews, unwillingly, would weep on the day of his death. And 
they actually did this. [Herod], tormented by wicked pains, killed himself dying wickedly 
in the 35th year of his reign. Augustus designated [Herod's] son Archelaus as king. He 
ruled for nine years. After nine years he was exiled to the city of Vienna (Bena) because 
of his wickedness. Rule was taken by the tetrarch named Herod. In the same year 
Augustus died and Tiberius reigned for 23 years. 

The first Herod had nine wives and eight sons. From Dosios, he fathered Antipater, the 
[son] who killed his two brothers and was slain by his father. From Mari, who was 
Hyrcanus' daughter, he fathered Alexander and Aristobulus. [Aristobulus] was killed by 
Antipater as was the Herod called Antipater, the one who married Herodiade and killed 
John [the Baptist]. From the Samaritan Melkos, [King Herod] fathered Archelaus who 
ruled after him. From Cleopatra of Jerusalem [Herod fathered] Herod and Philip [g98]. 
[The latter] took Herodiade from his brother as a wife. Later he, Philip, was slain by her. 
From Pallas, [King Herod] fathered Phazael. 

[King Herod's] grandsons were as follows: Aristobulus, Alexander's brother, fathered 
Herod who ruled as king in Chalcis; Agrippa, called Herod, was the one who killed 
James, brother of John [the Baptist] and died worm-eaten. He expelled his father-in-law 



and took over the kingdom. He had a son named Agrippa, who ruled after him, as well 
as the daughters Berenice and Drusilla who became the wife of Prince Felix. In the 14th 
year of Tiberius, which is 337 [of the Syrian Era, A.D. 15], Pilate was sent as prince to 
Judah, and one year later — 5,537 years after Adam['s expulsion from Eden], the Lord 
was baptized in the Jordan by John. This was on January 6, which is the 21st of the 
month of Tebeth, on a Sunday. 

The same year Germanicus Caesar became more powerful against the Parthians, and 
Tiberius made Drusos (Turt'e'os) part of his realm. He himself was poisoned to death. In 
the same year the palace of Pompey burned down. In Tiberius' time, Herod built [g99] 
[the cities of] Tiberius and Bayis. Pilate put the image of Zeus in the Temple and the 
Temple's treasures were squandered [on building an acqueduct] in the water. 

In this year the Apostles were chosen: 



1. Simon Peter, from the clan of Nepthali. It was he who built the first altar in Antioch. 
In the time of Emperor Claudius, [Peter] went to Rome, remaining there for 25 years. In 
the 13th year he was martyred by Nero. 

2. Andrew, his brother, who preached in Nicaea and Nicomedia, in Scythia and Achaea. 
The first [episcopal] throne at Ephesus was his. 

3. James, son of Zebedee, from the clan of Zabulon, who was slain by Herod Agrippa. 
His body was buried at Marmarike'. 

4. John, his brother, who preached in [the district of] Asia. He lived until the seventh 
year of Trajan and died [glOO] a glorious death. 

5. Philip, from the clan of Azer, in Beth Said. He preahced in Africa and was buried in 
Pisidia. 

6. Bartholemew, from the clain of Issachar, from the village of Adawir, who preached 
among the Armenians and died in a wondrous martyrdom in the city of Ubianos, which 
is now called Haghbat. [He was martyed by] the wicked and pagan Sanatruk. 

7. Thomas, from the clan of Judah preached among the Parthians, Medes, and Indians 
and was martyred there. 

8. Matthew, from the clan of Issachar, from Nazareth. He died in Gabala, was burried at 
Antioch and later [his remains] were transported overseas. 



9. Simon the Canaanite, from the clan of Ephrem, reposed in Hama, though in another 
place we found it given as Cyrrus. 

10. Judas, called Thaddeus who, because of his wisdom was called Lebeos, which means 
heart and soul, preached in Armenia and Asorestan and was martyred by Sanatruk in 
Armenia, at the place where he struck a rock and 1 3 streams gushed forth. The names of 
the Twelve Apostles and the other, our Savior Jesus Christ, remain till this day as a cure 
for all diseases and sicknesses. [Judas'] venerable body [glOl] and the relics of his bones 
and of the blessed Sanduxt, were buried at the sites of their martyrdom. 

11. James, son of Alphe from the line of Manasseh, who died in Seruj. Judas the 
betrayer from the line of Dan from the village of Iscariot. 

12. Matthew, his replacement, from the line of Ruben, [who was martyred] in the 
country of the cannibals. 



Josephus wrote about our Lord as follows: "In our day there appeared a man named 
Jesus who worked many miracles. It was clear that he was the Christos. Out of envy, 
they betrayed him to the judge Pilate. They killed him on the cross. But after three days 
they saw him alive and those who believed in him did not quit him. And it was confirmed 
that he himself was the son of the living God." 

Now according to Josephus' testimony, the Twelve Apostles, whom we named above, 
were the first to believe in Him. Then they chose 72 disciples, named as follows: 



1. Ade' 

2. Axe' 

3. Lazarus 

4. Anania 

5. Yakovb 

6. Eghia 

7. Barnabas 

8. Sosthenes 

9. Cyriaque 

10. Yovse'p' 

1 1 . Nicodemus 

12. Nathaniel 

13. Judas 

14. Justus 



15. Sylla 

16. Barnabas 

17. Yovhanne's who is Mark 

18. Amius 

19. Nigh 

20. Yason 

21. Manil 

22. Kiwrine' 

23. Alexandras 

24. Shmawon 

25. Kiwrine' 

26. Lukios 

27. Cleophas 

28. Sime'on 

29. Yovsa 

30. Budisos 

31. Diwstros 

32. Zabidon 

33. Titus 

34. Patroba 

35. Ermi 

36. Ason Kritos 

37. Priscus 

38. Luke 

39. Aristobulus 

40. Demas 

41. Timothy 

42. Levi 

43. Ephrem 

44. Herovde's 

45. Silubanos 

46. Nicetas 

47. Yovhanne's 

48. T'e'odos 

49. Nikos 

50. Martulos 

51. Lasion 

52. Zak'aria, son of a widow who died in Nayin 

53. Simon [gl03] the leper 

54. Stephen 

55. Eustace (Stak'os) 



56. Apeghe's 

57. Iston 

58. Shmawon 

59. Yovse'p', who is Barnabas 

60. Erasos 

61. Aminas 

62. Yulios 

63. Philipos 

64. Prok'oron 

65. Nikanovr 

66. Timon 

67. Parmena 

68. Agabos 

69. Kep'as, about whom Paul said that he would turn against him. 

And Paul himself a vessel of selection who, although he considered himself unworthy to 
write [the Gospel], was a great [figure] for everyone. 

In this period Philo the philosopher, an Alexandrian Jew, appeared. He wrote about 
events of the Jews, about Gaius who deified himself, about the ascetics of Egypt, an 
interpretation of Genesis, about the products of the earth, about the mentality of the just, 
who pray upon rising. [Philo wrote] about the decay of language, on the work of 
teaching, on the diverse names of writings, and on two Testaments, five homilies about 
seeing things in dreams, five homilies about the spirit leaving the body, four homilies on 
the laws [of the faith], and many other things. In the days of Emperor Claudius his 
writings were placed in the royal treasuray in Rome. 

In this period there were seven sects [gl04] among the Jews, as Josephus tells us. First 
were the Scribes, called the Lawfkeepers]; second were the Levites who held the ancient 
traditions; third were the Pharisees, who believed in resurrection as did the Scribes, and 
also in angels and the soul. They fasted twice a week, baptized frequently, believed in 
astrology and fortunes, [the] fourth [sect] were the Saducees who did not accept 
resurrection, angels, and the soul, and were named after a certain priest called Sadovk. 
[The] fifth [sect] were the Baptists who said that a man could not live unless he was 
baptized every day. Sixth were the Abstainers who did not eat anything animate and did 
not accept Moses and the prophets and they had other [sacred] writings instead of what 
[the others] had. Seventh were those who keep the faith, accept the prophets, and God in 
one person, and they do not comprehend the power of Scripture. 

In the 19th year of Emperor Tiberias, Abgar, king of the Armenians [gl05], wrote a 
letter of entreaty to Jesus and [sent it] via his loyal [envoy] Anania, begging Him to come 



to him and be his co-ruler. [Abgar] believed in Him and revered Him before His 
torments. And Jesus wrote an answer felicitating Abgar. He promised that after His 
resurrection He would send to him through one of His disciples a preacher and cause of 
life. [Abgar] because of the warmth of his love for our Lord again sent the artist 
Yovhanne's to make His picture and bring it back so that he might enjoy it. Yovhanne's 
went but was unable to duplicate His beauty because it was transformed from glory to 
glory. The artist was amazed. Then this source of pity and mercy requested the napkin, 
put it over His face, and impressed His features on it. This occurred 24 days before His 
torments. [The cloth] was brought back and given to Abgar, and very great miracles and 
wonders resulted from it prior to the arrival of the Apostle Thaddeus. In the same year 
[gl06[ the Lord died, was buried, resurrected, and appeared to His students. He blessed 
them, confessing the Holy Spirit. And then He ascended to Heaven. Now in that same 
year on the day of Pentecost, Pilate introduced the image of caesar into the Temple, as 
Josephus informs, and a voice was heard from the Divine Grace there, saying: "I depart 
from this place and will never return." Philo recalls this in his second book. 

Agrippa went to Rome where he accused his father-in-law, Herod. [And Herod] was 
arrested by Tiberius. Abgar, king of the Armenians, wrote to him three times about 
Christ's divinity, and complaining about the Jews. [Abgar] also wrote to Nerseh in 
Babylon and to the Persian king. This was done through God's providence so that there 
would not be conflict about the new faith and so at first the spread of the blessed Gospel 
would proceed without resistance. [Christianity] quickly spread during the reigns of these 
kings who did not reject Christ's divinity. This was influenced by King Abgar [gl07] the 
first blessed king who first extended his hand to Christ, just as David had said. Tiberius, 
after living 78 years died, having reigned for 23 years. 

Herod reigned for 23 years. It was he who killed John [the Baptist] and Herod was 
punished by the Lord together with his wife. They were put in prison in fetters in 
Pawania [in Spain], and then both of them were killed. After Tiberius, Gaius reigned. He 
removed Agrippa from prison and made him king of the Jews. At the same time he sent 
the judge Felix to Egypt where he greatly harassed the Jews for five years and polluted 
their place of worship with unclean sacrifices. For this reason [the Jews] sent envoys to 
beseech Gaius. [The delegation] included the Hebrew philosopher Philo of Alexandria. 
But [Gaius] did not listen to them. Instead he sent the prince of the Syrians to Patrania to 
put his image in all the sanctuaries and temples [gl08] to be worshipped as a god. And 
thus was fulfilled what was said in Daniel [9.27] about [reaching] the depths of 
abomination. 

In this period there appeared Simon, Kerindos, and Menander. And Philo and [the 
Apostle] Peter met one another in Rome and conversed with each other in the presence 
of Gaius. Philo asked John, who was a student of Christ's: "What is God?" and John 



replied: "God is love." When Philo accepted this, [John] took him to his home, became 
friends with him and, [Philo] believed and was baptized. Gaius was slain by one of the 
eunuchs because of his extreme severity. He had reigned for four years. Then Claudius 
reigned for 14 years. Agrippa ruled for seven years after being tetrarch for three years. 
He attacked Herod and later the angel of God struck and killed him [gl09]. 

During Claudius' reign, [one time] on the feast of Passover, suddenly there was a mob in 
Jerusalem at the Temple. Thirty thousand people trampled each other to death. Claudius 
set up Agrippa's son, Agrippa, as king of the Jews and sent Jelix as judge for the 
Galileans and Samarians. Claudius, after reigning for 13 years, died in his own home. 
Then Nero ruled the kingdom for 13 years. [Nero] sent Festus and removed Felix, 
before whom Paul appeared. Once again Nero removed Festus and put Lambius in his 
place. Then he removed [Lambius] and put Belurus in his position. It was during his 
tenure that the Jews revolted from Caesar. In this period in Rome fire fell from the sky 
and burned many structures with mobs of people in them. Nero, in the 13th year of his 
reign, started a persecution against the Church and killed the Apostles. He sent Vespasian 
and his son Titus to Jerusalem because of the rebellion of the Jews. 

Now the general and historian Josephus was fortified in the city of Iotapata. Vespasian 
went there, took [gl 10] the city of Iotapata and destroyed it. General Josephus went 
before him and said: "I bring glad tidings to you, Vespasian, for soon Nero will die and 
you will rule in his place." For this reason, [Vespasian] did not kill him. Meanwhile Nero, 
who was loathed by everyone, killed himself. Then Galba ruled for seven months and 
was killed in Rome. Suratolos ruled in Germany and Otho ruled in Rome. [The latter] 
killed himself after three months. Then Vitellius ruled for eight months, but a mob went 
against him and killed him. When news of this reached Vespasian's troops who were with 
him, they declared him emperor and Dictator. When this happened, Vespasian [gill] left 
his son Titus over Jerusalem and went to Egypt, subduing those areas for himself. From 
those parts he went by sea to Rome and ruled over them for nine years and nine months. 

Titus took Jerusalem on the feast of Passover and 1,260,000 Jews died. Jerusalem was 
pulled apart completely and the Temple was burned in the month of Ahek [August]. 
From the time of Adam 5,437 years had elapsed, and from the resurrection of our Lord, 
40 years. From the initial construction until [this] destruction, 2,192 years had elapsed. 
Jerusalem was taken in the third year of Vespasian. Prior to this there were 3,000,000 
[people] in Jerusalem. On that Passover when they assembled, there were sacrificed for 
Passover 250,000 lambs and each lamb fed [gl 12], ten people pure and the impure were 
unable to eat. Those who ate totalled 2,100,000. Sixty thousand people died from the 
sword, 1,100,000 died of hunger, and 100,000 were taken captive. Those over the age of 
1 5 were sent to Egypt to work at making bricks, while those under 1 5 were divided up 
among the troops. This was the 40 year period that God gave as time [for the Jews] to 



repent, and when they did not repent [God] exacted vengeance for the blood of the son 
of God. With this, the kingdom of the Jews ended. There remained only the kingdom of 
the Romans throughout the whole world, with the exception of the Armenians who also 
had their own kings. 

After Vespasian, his son Titus reigned. In his second year he was deified by the troops 
and, in his impious mind, he himself believed this. An angel of the Lord struck him and 
he died. Then his brother Domitian reigned for 15 years and five months. He expelled 
from Rome all the astrologers and witches and also commanded that vineyards not be 
planted. In this period [gl 13] Christianity grew. Patrophilus asked his teacher Ursinus: 
"What does it mean that such a multitude believe in a man who was crucified? [Even] the 
philosophers Theodorus of Athens, Africanus of Alexandria, and Martinus the hypatos 
believe in him, abandoning the pleasures of this world?" [Ursinus] replied: "Do not be 
surprised by this, for I believe that the very gods have submitted to him. And 
[Patrophilus] asked: "How is that?" [Ursinus] said: "It is because his doctrine, which is 
about purity, innocence, and unselfishness, makes it clear that it is above all those other 
doctrines." 

In this period Apollonius of Tyana made many talismans with much diabolical power and 
said: "Alas that the son of Mary preceded me, otherwise I would have subdued the entire 
world through my art." Now Domitian was killed because of the severity of his ways and 
the line of Vespasian was eliminated. Then Nerva, who ruled for one year, and was 
declared a god by the Senate, sickened with disease and died. He was followed by Trajan 
[gll4] for 19 years. He persecuted Christians and Simon, son of Cleophas bishop of 
Jerusalem and Ignatius, bishop of Antioch were martyred. At the emperor's order Plinius 
Secundus killed many Christians. However, he repented and wrote to Trajan, saying: 
"The Christians are good in everything, except that they do not sacrifice to the idols and 
they worship Christ in the morning." [Trajan] responded: "Kill them." 

In this period the Jews in Egypt rebelled and made [a man] named Lysias (Lumbas) their 
king. He took the Jews and went to Jerusalem. Then Trajan sent Lucius who destroyed 
myriads of them. In these time the Jews of Cyprus fought against [gl 15] the city of 
Salamis. Having taken the city, they killed the Greeks in it. Similarly, the Jews in Libya 
fought and warred with the Greeks. The Greeks in Alexandria and in the Kiwr'ine'akan 
land started a war and were destroyed by them. In this period the philosopher Secundus 
the Silent appeared. After Trajan, Hadrian reigned for 21 years. 

In the fourth year of his reign the [line of] Armenian kings at Edessa came to an end. 
Princes remained there while the kingship remained in Greater Armenia. In the 1 8 th year 
of Hadrian, the Jews of Jerusalem rebelled, deceived by a man named Star [Bar 
Kochba]. Hadrian sent [troops] and crushed them and expelled the Jews from Jerusalem, 



such that they did not dare even to look toward Jerusalem. He demolished Jerusalem and 
near it built [gl 16] a city Ilius Hadrianus, settling Christians and pagans in it. He ordered 
that the ears of the Jews wherever they were be cut off so that they would be noticeable. 
He also stipulated that Christians should not be persecuted without cause. In the 2 1 st 
year of his reign the first Council was held at Nicaea with 23 bishops, and they 
anathematized Sabellius the Libyan who said that the Holy Trinity was contained in one 
person. They also anathematized Valentinian who claimed that [Christ's] body had been 
brought from heaven. The translator Aquillus lived in these days. 

Following Hadrian, Antoninus Pius (Titus) — called Sebastus and Abgar — and his sons 
ruled for 22 years. Antoninus translates as "father of the land." In his day Justin of 
Nicopolis, which is near Jerusalem [gl 17] went to Rome and gave a letter of petition to 
the emperor and the persecutions of Christians ceased. In his day Polycarpus, the bishop 
of Smyrna, was martyred [A.D. 155]. At this time Cerdon, who is Marcion, and Mark 
came to Rome saying that there had been no resurrection, and that the [religious] laws 
were wicked. Nor would they say that Jesus the son was the one about whom the faith 
and the prophets had prophesied, but rather the son of the invisible benefactor. And they 
were witches. When baptizing they would speak "in the name of the invisible father, the 
true mother, and in the name of the son which descended on Jesus." And they added 
other things to this. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



In 475 of the Syrian [A.D. 163] there reigned [gl 18] Marcus Aurelius along with the son 
of Antoninus and Lucius, for 19 years. In the first year of their reign, Vagharsh 
(Vaghk'e'sh), who was ruling over the Persians, came to the land of the Romans and laid 
waste many districts. Antoninus, Lucius, and brothers went against them and subdued 
Parthia and Persia. Lucius [Verus], who had grown strong, was named Caesar among his 
brothers. There were also wars between the romans and Germans, the Karuts (?), 
Sarmatians, and Galileans. Again Lucius grew powerful and was called autocrat. 
[Lucius] ruled for nine years and died. Antoninus took his son Commodus as a co-ruler 
in the kingdom, since he was harassed by those around him. Antoninus sickened and 
died. Then Commodus [gl 19] ruled for 13 years and was strangled in his stable. After 
him Pertinax ruled for six months and was slain. Then Severus ruled for 1 8 years. In his 
first year there was a great war between the Jews and the Sarmatians. In [Severus'] ninth 
year he stirred up persecution of Christians and many were martyred. 

In his day there arose a barbarian people in the northwest. Severus went against them 
and was killed. Then his son Caracalla (Antoninus) ruled for seven years. He returned 
those who had been exiled because of their faith. One such was Alexander, [bishop] of 
Jerusalem. Caracalla was killed in Mesopotamia, between Edessa and Harran. Then 
Macrinus (Makar) ruled for one year [A.D. 217-218] and was killed. Then Antoninus 
[Elagabalus] reigned for four years. In his time Nicopolis was built in the land of the 
Philistines [gl20] called Emmaus. After him ruled Alexander, son of the pious and 
believing woman Mame, who effected many good things for Christians. In the third year 
of his reign, in the year 542 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 230] there ruled in Persia Artashir 
son of Babak, with which begins the Persian kingdom which lasted for 418 years and is 
called the Sasanians' kingdom. Twenty-seven kings [of that line] ruled one after the other, 
until Muhammad's Arab kingdom arose and eliminated it. 

After Alexander, Philip ruled for seven years, and the Christians were in peace. In his 
first year, Shapur, son of Artashir, ruled for 31 years. In this period the thousandth 
anniversary of the building of Rome was completed. Decius killed Philip and [gl21] his 



son and ruled for one year, to be slain by Burdos [Herenius]. Then for a year there ruled 
Burinos [Hostilian] and Damurinos, and Gaghos, and Balos. Then there ruled Uliranos 
and Gagheros for 15 years. And they stirred up persecution against the Church. Shapuh, 
king of the Persians, laid waste Syria and Cilicia and Cappadocia with slave taking. Goths 
crossed the Danube River, enslaved the land and took their captives back with them. And 
then Gagherios stopped persecuting the church of God and, by the grace of God, the 
faith grew through miracles performed by the hands of holy men, and so that God would 
exact vengeance from the persecuting kings, those enemies of truth. 

In the year 588 [of the Syrian Era, A.D. 276] Claudius ruled for one year. After him 
Aurelian ruled [gl22] for six years and six months. He built another wall for Rome, 
renewed persecutions, was struck by lightning and died. And the persecution ceased. 
Then Tacitus (Tartianos) ruled for six years [months], until he was slain in Pontus. Then 
Florian ruled until he was killed in Cilician Tarsus. Meanwhile Hurmazd ruled in Persia. 

In 593 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 281] Constantine was born. Following Florian, Probus 
reigned for seven years. In the same year Vahram reigned in Persia for three years. After 
Vahram his son reigned for 15 years. Now when Singleton wanted to rebel against 
Rome, he fortified himself in Antioch, but he was slain. Following Probus, Cams and his 
sons Carinus and Numerianus ruled for two years. Cams died in Mesopotamia while 
Numerianus was killed in Africa and Carinus died fighting in Cappadocia. Then 
Diocletian mled and here began dating according [gl23] to [Diocletian's] era, which 
began in 594 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 282]. After Diocletian, there mled Maximianus, 
whose sister was Diocletian's wife and Maxindes, who was Maximian's son ruled in 
Rome while Constantine mled in Gaul. Both reigned at the same time [in the West]. 
Diocletian and Maximian mled jointly in the East. In these times Egypt rebelled. The 
Romans went to subdue it and many were slain. In the 1 1th year of Diocletian, Narseh 
mled in Persia for seven years. He was followed by his son Hurmazd [II, 302-309] for 
five years. Now in the 19th year of Diocletian churches were demolished, persecutions 
increased, and with this came a severe famine to the point that one modi of grain cost 
2,5000 drams. And then, because of [gl24] Diocletian's wickedness God stmck him. He 
gave up the kingdom to Maximian who was no less evil. As for Diocletian himself, he 
was troubled by various pains and festered. He knew that this blow was from God and 
wrote a letter of peace for the Church and [permitting Church] building. Maximian did 
not want this and was unable to cancel the order. Rather, he temporarily stopped the 
persecution. But again he claimed that "the gods command that we continue the 
persecution" and he started to persecute, to remove Christians from the city. And then 
the land was punished by plague and so much premature death, to the point that ten 
corpses were buried in one grave. He intensified warfare among the Armenians and the 
wrath [of God] came upon him and he died in bitter pain. 



After this, Constantine's father Constant ruled. He had two wives, Helene and Theodora, 
Maximian's daughter. In the eighth year of his reign, he associated with himself as ruler 
[gl25] his son Constantine, Helene's son, who was co-ruler with his father for three 
years. Then the father died, and Constantine ruled in 623 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 311]. 
John of Asia says that the father had turned to worshipping [the Christian] God and that 
Sylvester cured the father of leprosy. Peter and Paul had appeared to Constant, advising 
him to summon Sylvester to baptize him. Socrates the Roman testifies to this. Ignatius of 
Melitene says that when [gl26] Constantine ruled [others were ruling]: Maximian, the 
other Maximian, Maxence, and Severus, all four of whom were persecutors and that 
when Severus died, his princes gave the kingdom to Constantine and declared as Caesar 
his son-in-law, Licinus. After ruling for seven years, Constantine made Licinus his 
co-ruler. [Licinus] secretly persecuted Christians and subsequently rebelled and was 
killed by him. 

In the third year of Constantine, Shapur reigned as king of the Persians for 70 years. 
Constantine went to battle against Maximian who was in Rome. [Constantine] reasoned 
with himself, saying: "The idols in no way helped former kings." And he declared: "If 
God helps me in this war, I shall worship Him." In the middle of the day he saw a radiant 
cross with writing on it that said: "With this shall you conquer." Others with him also saw 
it. That night Christ appeared and said to him: "Make a model of [the cross] which 
appeared to you and you shall triumph." Arising at dawn, he did this. And so it became a 
law of [gl27] Christian emperors to put a cross at the head [of the army]. When the 
battle took place, the cross which had appeared did conquer the impious one who were 
drowned in the Tiber River. Now Constantine's wife, Diocleta, was Diocletian's daughter. 
The two of them were baptized together since Constantine still had not been baptized. In 
this period the great Gregory, who was glorifying Armenia with very great miracles, 
converted all the Armenians to the faith. [Gregory] was to them a preacher and chief 
priest with venerable grace like the blessed Apostles of Christ. In the third year of his 
reign Constantine enlarged Byzatium, making it grow by [gl28] four mils. He adorned it 
with ornaments and transferred the [seat of the] empire to it from Rome. He called it 
Constantinople after his own name. He made its inhabitants free, built a church to the 
great Irene and another [church] named after the blessed Apostles. He appeared as the 
sole Autocrator, placing all his cares in the hands of God. He ordered that churches 
should be built throughout the country and that the pagan temples be demolished. 
[Constantine] also made it a law that no one should be a soldier or horseman who had 
not experienced [re]birth in the blessed [baptismal] font. T'e'odos says that artists 
adorned boards and masonry [gl29] [with images] to delight the viewers. And 
chroniclers have adornedthis period with words. 

Now it was in this period that the presbyterArius of Alexandria appeared, among seven 
priests whom Satan used as a weapon attempting to repeat the worship of created beings. 



For [Satan] had him say that the son of God was a created being. [Arius] had six other 
like-minded [priests] as is demonstrated in the letter written to Eusebius of Nicomedia. 
[Their names are] Eusebius of Caesarea, T'e'odos of Laocidea, Julian, bishop of Sur 
[?Syria], Athanasius of Anazarb, Grigor of Taruth, and Athis of Lydia. When their 
wickedness was revealed, Bishop Peter anathematized them. And he began to take many 
adherents [including] Maris of Chalcedon, Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Melitos, bishop 
of the Egyptians who, during the period of persecutions, had made sacrifices [to pagan 
gods and was removed from his position, Aithales, and many others [gl30]. 

In this same period there occurred a severe earthquake in Egypt which damaged many 
buildings and their inhabitants, and presaged the [Arian] heresy. There was a similar rent 
in the Church over Zatik [Easter], since the Eastern areas [of the Byzantine empire] 
along with the Jews commemorated [Zatik] on the 14th day of the lunar [month], while 
the Western areas always celebrated it on Sunday. First Alexander held a meeting of a 
multitude of bishps in Alexandria and anathematized Arius and those who shared his 
views. He also wrote imprecations [condemning Arianism] and had them taken to all the 
churches in the country. However, the corrupting flames were not quenched until the 
matter came to Emperor Constantine's attention. The latter was deeply saddened and 
wrote letters to Bishop Alexander and to Arius so that they reconcile with each other and 
to remove the evil idea from Arius' mind. But this did not quell the conflict in the Church 
and the heresy began to spread. Then Constantine the Great ordered throught the 
country that an assembly be held, to be convened in Bithynia at Nicaea. Three hundred 
and eighteen bishops assembled. The principals were: 

Usios from Kur'tabia, 

Vitus and [gl31] Vincent, priests from Rome representing the Pope, 

Alexander of Alexandria, 

Aristake's of Greater and Lesser Armenia, 

Julius of Sebastia,, 

Eustace of Antioch, and 

Jacob of Nisibis. 

The emperor had built a large and expansive palace where the assembly was seated. He 
himself, standing, personally served them. And they observed the grace of God on the 
emperor's face, and they placed a chair for him in their midst and begged him to be 
seated. [The emperor], however, ignored this and continued standing and serving their 
needs and listening to their discourse. There were, among the bishops, thousands and 
tens of thousands of priests and deacons. The emperor saw to all their needs at his own 
expense, from the 20th of the month of Iar until the 18th of the month of Haziran. 

Initially, they began to discuss matters using the rhetorical style of philosophers, and 



many of them followed this practise. Then a certain young prince arose and said: "Christ 
and the Apostles did not address us using artful words, but rather with a firm faith 
preserved through virtuous deeds." And so they were silent and left matters to the 
churchmen, who established the profession of faith of the Apostles. There were many 
who were opposed to this. The emperor removed [the dissidents] from the ranks of the 
assembly and [gl32] the count was brought up with true believers. There were some 
who presented letters of opposition and jealousy to the emperor regarding each other and 
he reconciled them and burned the letters of disputation. The emperor implored them to 
commemorate together the feast of the Resurrection of Christ, and that Sunday should 
be glorified with assembly and occupation with [religious] matters. And thus did they 
designate Sunday to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ our God following the old Zatik. 
They also designated that Sunday should be revered by rest from activities, with readings 
from the canons of the Apostles and other theological writings, rather than with 
pleasurable activities, and that Saturday should be devoted to commemorating the 
martyrs. The emperor himself stipulated that those dishonoring the priests and bishops 
should be executed with an evil death. This meeting took place in the 20th year of 
Constantine, which was the 5833rd year from Adam. The emperor dismissed the 
assembly with honor and gifts. And they anathematized after Arius, Eusebius, bishop of 
Nicomedia, Theognis, bishop of Nicaea, Maris of Chalcedon, T'umas of Markak, the 
principal men. 

Now it happened that Empress Helene had a vision while dreaming [gl33]. She arose 
and went to Jerusalem with Sylvester, the patriarch of Rome, and discovered the statue 
of Astghik which is Aphrodite, on the tomb [of Christ], as well as the blessed Cross of 
Christ which had been buried for a long time. After torturing Jews she found the Cross 
which [had been buried] by Judas. At this time the bishop of Jerusalem was named 
Markos. After building churches, [the empress] entrusted them to Markos. She 
established a class of virgins and clerics in Jerusalem and cared for them at her own 
expense. 

But Arius, by means of some other cheats, tricked the emperor into seeing him and 
hearing his doctrine from him. The emperor so ordered [granting an interview]. [Arius] 
wrote a lengthy document reflecting the faith of Nicaea, and a short one reflecting his 
own false doctrine, which he concealed in his sleeve. He presented the long bull to the 
emperor and said: "I profess nothing more than this." When he received the longer 
document [back] from the emperor, [Arius] put his hand on the [shorter] document 
containing his own blasphemies and said: "May there be severe curses on anyone who 
claims that I glorify God in any way differing from what is written here." And the 
emperor believed him to the point that God disgraced him with [creating a] division. The 
emperor was even more confirmed in the faith and with great care took pity on [gl34] 
the churches, allowing them freedom throughout the country and making their property 



and earnings free from taxation. And he said: "All churches should have the complete 
Old and New Testaments and orphans and widows should be maintained at Church 
expense, and clerics should be knowledgeable in Biblical writings. [Moreover], the 
Church should maintain some astronomers skilled in the science of calendars, to keep the 
accurate observance of feasts and heavenly bodies, though the Church should not 
entertain the other nonsense of astrology." 

Constantine had three sons. The senior son was named after his father, the middle son 
was named Constans, and the youngest, whom he made Caesar, was named Costas. The 
eldest son adhered to orthodoxy until death, as did the youngest. [Emperor Constantine] 
had his eldest son reside in Constantinople, the middle son, in the Eastern parts, and the 
youngest in Rome. This period saw the beginnings of [Christian] faith among the Indians 
and the Iberians/Georgians. Constantine created a canvas church [a tent] to circulate 
around [gl35] with him. He built a large octogonal church in Antioch. And he built a 
bridge over the Danube River, over which he led the troops to the Scythians, who are the 
Russians. Some of them he killed while others he converted to Christianity. 

In this period Shapuh, king of the Persians, came to Nisibis and turned back in disgrace. 
Jacob of Edessa says that "Constantine wanted to go against the Persians and, going to 
Nicomedia, became ill, asked for baptism, and was baptized. For until then he had not 
been baptized, hoping to be baptized in the Jordan River. He made a will concerning his 
three sons and entrusted it to an Arian priest named Eusebius. Constantine, who had 
reached the age of 65 and reigned for 32 years, died peacefully on the great Sunday of 
Pentecost, being the 22nd day of the month of Iyar. His body was taken to 
Constantinople and placed in the church of the Holy Apostles. 

According to the will, the eldest son received the throne of Constantinople, the middle 
son, Antioch and the Eastern areas, and the youngest, Rome. On the day of 
[Constantine's] death, the middle son was close by in Nicomedia and took the will from 
that priest [Eusebius]. Constantine's senior son went to Rome, to the land of [gl36] his 
younger brother. Now the youngest son, Costas, designated Dalmatios as Caesar in 
Rome. He was the brother of Constantine the Great. Dalmatios killed Constantine, the 
eldest son of [Emperor] Constantine, against the will of the younger brother. Then 
Costas killed Dalmatios in return for the slaying of his brother the king. Now Dalmatios 
had two sons, Galianus (Gallus) and Julianus, and they wanted to kill them too but did 
not, for Galianus was sick and Julianus was a boy, and so they thereby escaped. Later 
[Costas] was reconciled with them and put them into school in a village named Makali, 
close to Armenian Caesarea. When they had advanced in their studies, they became 
lovers of martyrs and began building a martyrium to Saint Mamas. The part built by 
Galianus stood fast, while the part built by Julian crumbled — which presaged what was 
to come. 



The middle brother, Costas, established Galianus as Caesar in Antioch. He rebelled 
against the emperor. When the emperor heard about this, he sent and had him killed, and 
put Julian in prison. However, through the intercession with the emperor of Empress 
Eusebia, [Julian] was removed from prison and sent to Athens to study philosophy 
[gl37]. Gregory the Theologian, Basil, and his brother Gregory Nazianus were there and 
they prophesied what was to happen regarding Julian. 

In this period Constans, son of Constantine the Great, built a city in the Seleucia country 
and named it Constantinople. In the sixth year of Constans, Magnentius rebelled and 
seized Italy and Africa from Constans, and ruled in Sirmium. through treachery the 
troops killed Costos and his brother's son, Constantine, who had ruled with him for three 
years. Now when Constans heard about this he became filled with rage and killed 
Magnentius and along with him Ophilos who ruled with Magnentius and was of the line 
of the emperors. On the day of their slaying there appeared the sign of the Cross in the 
eastern part [of the sky]. The emperor entered Rome in great splendor. Returning to 
Constantinople, he made Julian Caesar and gave him for a wife his sister Helene, who 
was called Costia [gl38]. 

In this period the Jews who were in Palestine rebelled and killed Roman troops. The 
emperor sent and destroyed them. Julian went to Gaul against the barbarians, triumphed, 
and, waxing proud, was hailed as emperor by the troops. When Emperor Constantius 
heard about this he was terrified and was baptized by the bishop of Antioch, Zoyios, who 
was an Arian. Then he arose against Julian and died [the the area] between Cilicia and 
Cappadocia, having lived for 48 years and reigning for 25 years. Although he had been 
deceived by the Arian bishop Sebios and liked the Arians [gl39], still he did not claim 
that the son of God was a created being but rather that He was born from the Father, 
through lesser. It was [Emperor Constantine] who legislated that unbaptized [troops] 
should not fight in wars, without this spiritual shield. At the hour of death he repented 
and accepted orthodoxy and then died. 

Julian took over the empire after being Caesar for five years. He reigned for two years. I 
have also found it claimed that Julian was Constantine the Great's brother's son. For they 
say that Constantine the Great had two brothers from the same father, Lamtios and 
Kostios. Lamtios had a son bearing his own name; while Kostios had two sons, Gallus 
and Julian. Gallus rebelled and was killed. Julian became Caesar. When he had 
conquered the barbarians, he was passing along a street when a crown made of cloth fell 
and landed on his head. This became the cause for some to say that it was a sign of 
victory and for others to claim that it was a sign of [coming] destruction. I have 
confirmed the first narrative rather than the second. However, since Julian was practised 
in sorcery and in serving demons, he [gl40] attributed his victory and the emperor's 
death to the demons. He was steeped in sorcery, wore the garb of philosophers, the dyed 



leather known as atim, ridiculing the [imperial] purple. It was he who began secretly to 
pollute waters with the blood of sacrifices and have this sprinkled on all foods so that 
eaters and drinkers would receive [and do] his will. When [Julian] entered 
Constantinople, he was declared Ewtuakartor (? Autocrat). 

When [Julian] came to Antioch he caused dahekans to increase in value while making 
bread and wine more abundant. The rabble insulted him, asking: "Why do you let your 
beard grow so long? Cut it and make a rope out of it and put it on the horns of your 
sacrificial [animals] and, using it, lead them as offerings to your false gods." [Julian] was 
enraged and wanted to put the city to the sword. However, the philosopher Libyanus 
calmed him down, saying: "Death is not the fitting response. Rather, give insults in place 
of their insults to you." And so [Julian] assembled them, insulted them, and let them go. 
Now on the mountain of Antioch there was a monastery named after Paul and the grave 
of [gl41] Bishop Babelas was also located there. Julian wanted to erect a statue of 
Apollo there and to cast lots about his going to Persia, but the demons made him no 
reply. [Julian] realized that it was because of Babelas, and he ordered that [Babelas'] 
body be removed to the city. The Christians joyously took it [singing] psalms and 
[carrying] lanterns. Then the demons began to speak to him nicely. [Julian] delighted, 
had two tables placed before the altar, one piled with incense, the other, with gold. He 
put fire before them and declared: "Let whoever casts a handful of incense on the fire 
take a handful of gold." Many simple-minded folk were thus fooled and took the gold. 
Afterwards they sat down to eat and drink. Then, in accordance with custom, they made 
the sign of the Cross over the wine. Then someone said: "What is this? Youmake the sign 
of the Cross after apostasizing?" Terrified, they asked: "When did we apostasize?" And 
the man replied: "When you took gold after the incense." They put down the wine, ran 
outside and threw the gold in the emperor's face [gl42] saying that they are Christians. 
[Julian] let them be tormented [rather than killed], so that they not acquire the names of 
martyrs. 

[Julian] changed the names of cities: he renamed Caesarea to Mazaka [Bazke'], and 
Constantinople to Biwzandia. He deceitfully built hostels, poor houses, and places where 
orphans and widows could be cared for. He commanded that pagan legends be read and 
that the children of Christians not be excluded from secular learning. He left Antioch 
with threats about what would happen when he returned peacefully from Persia. He sent 
to Edessa to prepare for him, but they refused. He then went to Harran, sacrificed to the 
demons, and honored the Jews there, commanding that they go to Jerusalem, [re]build 
the Temple, and make sacrifices according to [their] faith. [The Jews] took 3,000 
measures of lime, gathered up those who had been dispersed, went and began to rebuild. 
A fierce wind scattered the lime and cement they wanted to build with, and fire 
descended and burned the structure and their tools. The Jews in Edessa arose against the 
Christians, and were killed by them [gl43]. 



Julian delayed in Harran and again sacrificed to the demons in front of idols he had 
erected in Harran. And while sacrificing, the crown fell from his head and the horse 
nearby trampeled him and tore his clothes. [Julian's] friends said to him: "This is because 
of the Christians whom you are taking with you." [Julian therefore] turned back 22,000 
of the [Christian] troops. However, he did not retire the standard of the Cross, which by 
custom they kept at the front, saying: "Who knows, if the Persians defeat us, it will be a 
defeat for the Cross." He took along with him 395,000 fighters, not including attendants 
and laborers. Wherever he went he erected idols and made sacrifices and queries, and the 
demons said: "We, a multitude of gods are coming along with you in a brigade and will 
bestow on you the fate and good fortune of Alexander, and the star Ares is at the head of 
your troops." [Julian] arrived at Ctesiphon, and ruined it. [King] Shapuh fled and sent to 
him, saying that he would give him a great amount of treasure if he would turn back. 
[Shapuh] then assembled the Persians and came and encamped by the Tigris River. 
Messengers went back and forth between them, but were unable to make peace. Then 
suddenly [gl44] an arrow came and pierced Julian's entrails, making his blood gush 
forth. Taking some of the blood in the palm of his hand, he hurled it skyward, saying: 
"Oh, Galilean, you have triumphed. Take and add my kingdom to your divinity." But 
[Julian] would not don either armor or helmet, priding himself on the promise of the 
gods. Perhaps the arrow which hit him was shot not by a man but from the power of 
God. Thus was fulfilled the prophesy made about him in Antioch. There Julian had 
pulled down an image of Christ in the home of a woman suffering from bloody flux 
where many healings took place, and erected idols in its place. Fire descended and 
burned the idols. They came and told him about this before he had entered Antioch. At 
this time he noticed a Christian vardapet and said to the philosopher Libyanus: "Ask him, 
where is your son of a carpenter?" And [the priest] replied: "His work is present here 
[gl45] where he makes a coffin for the death of your king." And they were silent, this 
indeed came to pass, for they made a coffin through the will and power of the carpenter's 
son, and they put [Julian's body] in it. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



They chose a military commander [named Jovian] and said: "Rule over us as emperor in 
place of Julian." And [Jovian] replied: "I will not rule over devil worshippers." They 
responded in unison: "All of us are Christians." Then [Jovian] had the crown placed on 
the Cross and said: "Come and worship." And everyone worshipped. Then [Jovian] took 
[the crown] and put it on his head. Now because of hunger and high prices, they made 
peace with the Persians. [The Byzantines] gave up Nisibis, depopulated, since they 
removed the multitude of Christians dwelling there. Then [the Byzantine army] turned 
back, bearing with it to Cilicia the corpse of the impious [Julian]; and they kept it 
disrespectfully in the confines of Tarsus. Julian left behind forty discourses. 

Now Jovian was a good and pious man and delighted the Christians. And there was a 
great healing of pains. However, we were not worthy to enjoy this, for he did not live 
long. Between Galatia and Bithynia he experienced a pain in his intestines and died, after 
reigning for only seven months [gl46]. He did not even reach Constantinople. When the 
troops reached Nicaea, they enthroned Valentinian [Valens, 364-378], a wise man who 
was from the city of Cibali (Kappalis) in Pannonia. They wanted to select his co-ruler 
also, but [Valens] said: "That is at my discretion, not yours. You selected me and I shall 
select my own colleague." They accepted this and [Valens] chose his own brother, 
Vaghes, who had been baptized by the Arian bishop Eudoxus and held his doctrine. 
[Valens] designated him as ruler in the East, and he greatly supported the Arians. 

Valens took Rome and adhered to the faith of Nicaea. He declared as Augustus his son 
Gratianus. Then he went to Marcianopolis in Egypt. When he arrived there an 
earthquake occurred, the likes of which had never happened, or was even heard of. For 
when the sea shook, it hurled ships over the city wall and then retreated to a lower level 
than before. A multitude of folk gathered to ravish the ships. But then the sea returned 
and drowned all of them and then spread out over the land, engulfing many cities and 
districts. This was a sign of the corruption of Vaghes. Valentinian reproached [gl47] his 
brother forhis evil ways. When he would not heed him, he got angry and did not aid him 



in his war with the Goths, saying: "I will not help a man who wars against God." 

Then Valentinian himself went to fight in S armaria. The Sarmatians were terrified and, 
through emissaries, requested peace from him. Valentinian was astounded by their 
coarseness and ignorance. He asked them and learned that [those emissaries] who had 
come to him were the most select [of the Sarmatians]. He grew angry and said: "Woe to 
the Romans who have left you kingship and reign over animals." Then with a great shout 
[Valentinian] encouraged the troops not to make peace with them, but instead to 
exterminate them. From the strength of his shout veins in his throat burst and he died at 
the age of 84, after ruling for 1 1 years. [Valentinian] had two wives, contrary to law: the 
first was Severa and the second, Justina, daughter of Justin. Now Justin had seen a vision 
in which some purple material was coming forth from him and became a prince, and he 
told [people] about this. Now when Valentinian heard about this, he killed him so that, he 
said, no king would descend from him. Later he took [gl48] [Justin's] daughter as a 
wife. She bore him a son who was named Valentinian after him and three daughters: 
[one of whom was] Galia, who became the wife of Theodosius the Great and bore him 
Arcadius and Honorius. Upon Valentinian's death, the eldest son, who was born from the 
first wife, was not nearby. And so others among the troops put the crown on the head of 
Valentinian's youngest son, who was a four-year-old boy. 

Vaghes made Gratianus military chief and sent him to war against the Goths, where he 
was defeated. Vaghes insulted him and Gratianus retorted: "The defeat is not mine but 
yours, for you fight against Christ." 

In this period Mawie', queen of the Tachiks, caused much harm to the Romans. She 
promised peace if they would ordain as bishop of their district the hermit Movse's. When 
Vaghes heard [gl49] this he sent to the desert seeking out the cleric named Movse's. 
Finding someone they brought him [to Vaghes], however [Movse's] did not want to be 
ordained by the Arians, instead wanting ordination from exiled orthodox [clerics]. The 
emperor so ordered. Receiving the episcopate from the persecuted orthodox, [Movse's] 
departed. When he went back, many Tachiks became Christians. For Queen Mawie' was 
Roman by nationality. She had been captured by the Tachiks. Because of her beauty, she 
became wife to the Tachik king, and when he died she ruled the kingdom. Due to her, 
many converted to Christianity. In this period Vaghes constructed the dimison in 
Antioch, a prison for the orthodox. Then suddenly there appeared an army moving 
through the sky, physically visible. In this period a child was born [gl50] in Antioch 
havingone eye, four feet, four hands, and a beard. 

In these times the Goths arose and enslaved many districts: Sklwt'ia, Thrace, Mysia, 
Macedonia, Achaea, and all Hellas. Vaghes fled to Constantinople and the rabble insulted 
him, saying: "Give us weapons and we will go and fight." Vaghes went, infuriated, 



threatening them that should he return in peace he would demolish the city. He went but 
was defeated by them. And he fled to a village. The fighting barbarians surrounded the 
village while [Vaghes] hid in a silo full of hay. Searching for him unsuccessfully, they 
burned down the village and he perished in the hay, in an anticipation of the eternal fire. 
[Vaghes] lived 50 years and reigned for 17 years. Then Gratianus ruled who, in the days 
of his father Valentinian, had been Ewtukartor in Rome. He reestablished orthodoxy and 
took as his co-ruler Theodosius the Spaniard — the man who had been the first to declare 
[gl51] Gratianus emperor. [Gratianus] swapped with him, giving [Theodosius] 
Constantinople and all the eastern areas. In this period, at their order, RasAyn was 
constructed. Now when the barbarians learned about the demise of Vaghes, they came as 
far as the walls of Constantinople. Theodosius arose and destroyed them, then went on 
to their land and made them tributary. And there was peace in the Church and the land 
after 40 years of Arian evil. 

In this period Artashir, king of the Persians, died and his son Shapuh took the rule. In the 
third year of Theodosius, Gratianus was killed by the dictator Maximius in rome. Then 
Valentinian the Lesser ruled in Rome. Theodosius and Valentinian warred with 
Maximium the dictator, killed him, and entered Rome in splendid glory [gl52]. Then 
Theodosius came to Constantinople. He sent an official, the Strategos, to the East. When 
he arrived at Antioch, he observed conflict in the Church. He made peace and 
established Melitos on the [patriarchal] throne. Now in the fourth year of Theodosius he 
wanted to cleanse the Church of arians. He convened a large assembly of 150 bishops. 
The principals among them were: Melitos of Antioch, Timothy of Alexandria, Cyril of 
Jerusalem, the blessed Ners's of Greater Armenia who had returned from exile, Gregory 
the Theologian from Constantinople and Gregory of Nyssa. And they anathematized first 
the heresy of Arianus, then of Macedonius who dared to claim that the Holy Spirit was a 
creation. They [re] established the faith of Nicaea and added to the Creed mention of the 
Holy Spirit, for this question arose subsequently. 

After ten years [heading] the episcopate [gl53], [Gregory] the theologian quit 
Constantinople and Nectarius took over that see. When Theodosius saw Melitos, he said: 
"I saw him in a dream, blessing me as emperor." [Melitos] died at that council. Gregory 
of Nyssa delivered a funeral homily about him, and his body was brought to Antioch. 
Melitos stopped [unqualified] people from receiving confession as priests, and stipulated 
that only the most perfected people, acknowledged by all, should be selected [as clerics]. 
For a certain priest at Antioch had ordained as deacon a person who was committing 
adultery with a wealthy woman and [as a result], there was much killing. Melitos 
commented that "It is better to ordain a thornbush than an ignorant and unprepared 
person." 

At this time Theodosius was in Thessalonica and became ill. He encounteredand was 



baptized by Ascolius (Aquila) and was healed. Then [Theodosius] came to 
Constantinople and built a large church of Anastasius [Resurrection]. In this time he 
fathered a son from his wife Flacilla (Gallios) and he was named Honorius. After giving 
birth, Flacilla died. There was a statue of her in Antioch [gl54], but when they learned 
of her death they dragged it and dumped it in the marketplace. Emperor Theodosius was 
enraged by this. He removed from Antioch the honor of being called a capital and gave 
this instead to Laodicia, making it an evangelical see. Judges wrought many killings over 
that affair. Now when a hermit named Apollo heard about it, he came and reprimanded 
the princes and wrote a letter to Theodosius, saying: "It is unnecessary to get so angry 
over one image. People, who are the image of God, are being polluted. You can make 
many broze statues, but you cannot fashion an image of God. Do you not know this? 
How many more of our souls dishonored by sins [will be required] with no one caring 
that it is the image of God which is being insulted?" And [gl55] when the emperor heard 
this, his rage quieted and he reconciled with the city. 

In this period Thessalonica, the capital of Italy, rebelledfrom the emperor, slaying by 
lapidation the emperor's prince, who was in the city. Enraged, the emperor commanded 
that the city be destroyed. Seven thousand people died, the innocent along with the 
guilty. Then Bishop Ambrosius came to the city of Milan and encountered the emperor 
at the door of the church, trying to enter. [The bishop] stopped him and asked: "Are you 
not ashamed, you who are covered with blood, to enter the house of God? Turn back, 
and take this ban which God has sent to you by my hands." And the emperor turned 
back. Eight months later, when the feast of the Nativity came, the emperor sat and wept 
bitterly. The magistrate Rufinus asked him: "What is wrong, oh king, why do you weep?" 
He replied: "How could I not cry, for servants and beggars may enter the church while I 
am banned both from the church and from Heaven." [Rufinus] [gl56] said: "I will 
hasten and beseech the bishop." [The emperor] responded: "I do not believe that he will 
listen to you or see me, who has scorned the laws of God." 

Nonetheless Rufinus went, while the emperor piously followed behind him. Now when 
the bishop saw Rufinus, he grew and cried: "Foul one, all this happened because of your 
advice." [Rufinus] fell at his feet, pleading and saying: "Lo, the emperor is coming 
behind me." [The bishop] said: "I will not allow him in church and, should he desire it, I 
will accept murder from him as he has murdered others." [Rufinus] then went before the 
emperor and related what the blessed man had said, [and the emperor responded]: "Let 
me go and I will gladly bear the insults I deserve." He went and stood outside in tears, 
pleading. The bishop called to him, saying: "Brazen heathen, why have you come here?" 
The emperor replied: "Holy Father, I will gladly accept your insults and anathemas and 
will do nothing without your approval. Only do not close [the door] in my face, so that I 
can see inside the Church of God from outside, and hear your voice." The bishop 
remained in the church and said: "What penance [gl57] have you undertaken that you 



should see the door of the church and me?" And the emperor replied: "Only show me 
the medicine for my wounds and I will do as you say." The bishop said: "You are severe 
against wrongdoers. Write a law that wrongdoers be held for three days [before 
punishment], and should there still be doubts, let it be 40 days and have inquiries made 
with witnesses and examination so that the matter be clear and can be discerned when 
[your] anger subsides, and then punish accordingly." This ] [edict] was written at once, 
and [the emperor] sent to all the judges and princes in the land for them to act 
accordingly. Then [the bishop] commanded the emperor to enter the church. He entered 
and threw himself on the ground, saying: "I grovel on the ground. Lord sustain me with 
mercy." In tears the king stood and went near the altar and wanted to go to his own seat, 
but the bishop stopped him, saying: "It is fitting that you be behind and beneath everyone 
until you complete your penance." [The emperor] accepted this in all humility and went 
to stand with the other penitents. Such was the emperor's piety and faith [gl58]. 

In this period, through the bishop's work, they discovered the relics of the prophet 
Habakkuk and Michah in Alut'rabulos in Palestine. In Jerusalem they found relics of St. 
Stephen and those with him, due to Bishop Yovhanne's of Jerusalem. 

In the 1 3th year of Theodosius, [the emperor] had his son Arcadius proclaimed in in the 
East and at the same time the princes Eugene and Arbogast treacherously killed 
Valentinian in Rome. Theodosius ethroned Honorius in Rome. [Theodosius] arose with a 
small number [of troops] against the rebels, who were many. [The latter] said to the 
emperor: "Let us wait until [reinforcement] troops arrive." And [Theodosius] entered a 
cave alone and cried out to the Lord. The Evangelist John and the Apostle Peter 
appeared and said to him: "Fear not and do not await assistance, for we have come from 
Christ to help you." And that is what happened, for at dawn the two tyrants were 
destroyed [gl59]. When the emperor left off his labors and came to Milan he was seized 
by a pain in the intestines and died. He had lived 60 years, reigning as emperor for 16 
years and eight months. 

In this period in Persia there reigned Vahram Kermanshah, son of Shapuh and brother of 
Artashir, for 1 1 years. 

Now Theodosius during his lifetime had been urged by bishop Jamblichos to persecute 
Arians, but he had not listened. One day the emperor was seated with his son Arcadius 
when Jamblichos entered. He greeted Theodosius, but did not even look at the son. It 
appeared to the emperor that he had not seen the son, and so he said: "Father, bless my 
son." Jamblichos replied: "You, emperor, are enough for us. I will not honor him except 
as one of your servants." The emperor was saddened and flew into a rage. The bishop 
continued: "You, a mortal, cannot endure an insult to your son. Do you suppose that 
immortal God will allow you to insult His Son?" The emperor accepted this and ordered 



that Arians be persecuted and boldly removed [gl61]. 

In this period in Emaus in Palestine a child was born who had two heads above the chest 
and four arms. [The child] lived for two years. When one [head] ate, the other did not. 
When one slept, the other stayed awake. And they played with each other, sometimes 
crying, sometimes laughing. One died two days before the other. 

Emperor Arcadius was sensible and restrained. Underneath his [royal] purple [clothing] 
he secretly wore a hair shirt, and he like clerics. In this period John [Chrysostom] went to 
Constantinople in great glory, a powerful figure when it came to speech, miracles, and 
doctrine. But there were some who scorned him because he did not speakpolished 
Greek. He was of Asori lineage and had been schooled in that [language, Syriac]. He 
died in exile in Armenian Comana, having lived 50 years. For seven years he was bishop 
[in Constantinople] and for three years he was in exile. After baptism he did not swear or 
make oaths, lie [gl61] or curse anyone. He did not drink wine or laugh, or eat with folk. 
When he went into exile, he struck the church with his hand and said: "Stay well, blessed 
Church, dwelling place of the Lord's glory. With the blessings I received from God I have 
put 12,000 homilies into the treasury [of the Church], which are 800 books." 

After this, Arcadius grew ill and had his eight-year-old son declared emperor. Now since 
Honorius was sonless, [Arcadius' son, Theodosius II] was the sole heir. Arcadius feared 
for his son. He made a will entrusting his son to the king of Persia, Yazdgird. When 
Yazdgird learned about this, he was overjoyed and sent as a tutor for the boy a wise man 
named Antiochus. He also sent warnings to all the Imperial Houses of the Romans for 
them to regard the boy with fear and awe. Then Arcadius died, having reigned for 1 3 
years. There was then peace between the Persians and Romans, and the Christians in 
Persia grew in numbers and were viewed without suspicion through the efforts of Bishop 
Marutha. Then Honorius died sonless in Rome and Constantine [Constans III] ruled 
[gl62]. The latter was slain by some autocrat. There remained only Theodosius after 
Honorius, who had reigned for 1 3 years. In that period Theodosius made Caesar his 
father's sister's son, Valentinian, and sent him to Rome with his mother. After this, 
[Theodosius] sent [Valentinian] a crown. [Valentinian] reigned for 32 years. Theodosius 
was a blessed man whose table held vegetables, but no oil or wine during fasts. After the 
death of the bishop of Hebron, he took the deceased bishop's hair shirt and wore it every 
night. He was merciful and lacking in hatred that, when asked "Why do you let live those 
condemned to death?" he replied: "Would that I could turn to life those who are dead, let 
alone kill the living. That is God's work, to kill and to let live." 

In this period Yazdgird, king of Persia, died and his son, Bahram [V] reigned for 22 
years. The friendship between [the Byzantine and Persian] kings ended, and the Persians 
were hit many times through the emperor' prayers. 



In this period virtue was displayed [gl63] by Acacius, bishop of Amida who ransomed 
those captured by the Persians, even giving the Church vessels, gold and silver, to 
purchase the slaves. He said: "Our God has no need of gold and silver vessels." His faith 
was praised among the Persians. The Persian king wanted to see him and greatly exalted 
him to the glory of Christ. In this period the noteworthy [clerics] were Simeon the Stylite 
in Antioch and Mor Barsum on the borders of Lesser Armenia. 

In this period Nestor was patriarch in Constantinople. He had a priest named Anastasius 
who one day ennunciated a new heresy from the pulpit — that Mary was the mother of a 
man, not of God. The people expected Nestor to censure him. But [Nestor] not only did 
not blame [Anastasius], but he even took the heresy from him and spread it. For this 
reason a great council was convened at Ephesus — the first council of Ephesus — in the 
41st year of Theodosius, which is 742 of the Syrian Era [A.D. 430], and 423 years from 
the time of christ. Present there were 200 bishops. Seven of them were anathematized 
[gl64], leaving 193 orthodox bishops. The great Sahak of Armenia, being occupied, 
wrote a letter agreeing to whatever they stipulated. A multitude of priests and clerics were 
there, principal among them: Bishops Arcadius and Procios of Rome, representing 
Celestine, Pope of Rome; Cyril of Alexandria; Memnon of Ephesus; John of Antioch; 
Acacius of Melitene; Juvenal of Jerusalem; and others who anathematized Nestorius. But 
John of Antioch and 26 bishops with him did not sign the anathema of Nestorius, and 
then they themselves were anathematized with him. 

Nestorius went into exile. Then [John of Antioch] was with Cyril and confessed his 
ignorance, not knowing of Nestorius' wickedness. Thus they confirmed [the Council] and 
said: "After this, should any council, bishop, or king create a new faith or definition [of 
the faith], let them be anathematized. Rather, let [the decisions of the Council of Nicaea] 
be kept firmly by the blessed Church until the end [gl65] of the world." 

Here are [the names of] those who were exiled with Nestorius: Theodoret from the city 
of Cyrrhus; andrew of Samosata; Alexander of Menbidj; Arianus of Sour; John of 
Cilicia; Ut'rios of Taon and others with them. They installed Maximos of Constantinople 
in Nestorius; position. 

The Reason for the Council of Chalcedon 

In the 29th year of his reign, Theodosius heard some clamor about Flavian, bishop of 
Constantinople and the archmandrite Eutyches, and ordered that a second council be 
convened in Ephesus, 1 8 years after the first council, which was under Cyril. [The 
emperor] wrote a letter to Dioscorius with this import: 

"[We] the triumphant kings the autocrat Emperor Theodosius and Valentinian 



to you, holy father Dioscorius, archbishop of the Apostolic see of Alexandria: 

Be it known to your holiness that Nestorius' bitter root apparently has spread 
its tendril into Flavian, and that the beliefs of Mani have influenced [gl66] the 
monk Eutyches. this we have heard. This task is fitting for you — to cleanse the 
Church, the pure bride of Christ. Therefore make haste to relieve the sorrow 
of [your Mother] onher heavenly couch. Bring with you ten metropolitans and 
ten other educated bishops capable of lighting the torch of orthodox faith and 
placing it on a chandelier to the joy of those in heaven and on earth. Bring 
along too an additional ten bishops from Palestine. Bring Juvenal, bishop of 
Jerusalem since he was opposed to Nestorius and the heretical Leo. Do not 
bring with you those who sickened in the faith along with Cyril, [namely] 
Theodoret, bishop of the city of Cyrrhus and others of his ilk. Julian the 
Roman is here with us, filling the place [once occupied by Leo] in rome, for 
[Leo] manifested symptons of the disease with his tome. Also bring the great 
hermit and father of the desert Mor Barsuma, representing all the Eastern 
monastics since he greatly labored against Nestorius and the tome of Leo." 

The blessed Dioscorius took the emperor's letter and did as he was ordered. He came to 
the council at Ephesus with [gl67] 128 bishops. The principals were: Dioscorius of 
Alexandria, Juvenal of Jerusalem, Domanos of antioch, Eustacius of Beirut, Theodolus 
of Armenian Caesarea, eusebius of Caesarea [Palestinaf, Vasilios of Seleucia, and Mor 
Barsama, head of the monks. They held many investigations. Eutyches showed 
repentenace in form, but not in substance, for which he was not accepted and was 
anathematized as he claimed that the incarnation of Our Lord had happened in a fantastic 
manner. Now Flavian had written a confession ofhis faith which they brought forth and 
read. It contained Nestorius' beliefs. In it were found the signatures of Vailios, bishop of 
Seleucia; Julianos, [bishop] of the Romans; Eudocos of the Cyprians; and Seleucus of 
the Emesians. When the entire assembly heard this, they cursed [it] saying: "Get rid of it, 
destroy it, burn that godless document." With anathemas they removed Flavian from his 
[episcopal] throne and with him Eusebius, Domnus of Antioch and five bishops who 
were his colleagues, and Irenaeus of Tyre (Sur), Akamios of Pepul, Theodoritos of 
Cyrrhus (Gouris). Ibas of Edessa, Severus of Thrumo, and Daniel from Harran. 
Moreover, the tome of Leo, which had been scorned by the first [gl68] council, they did 
not deem fitting to read. 

Then a letter arrived from the emperors Theodosius and Valentinian [telling them] 
neither to add nor subtract from the orthodox faith of Nicaea, Constantinople, and 
Ephesus, but rather to confirm the same [doctrines]. For this reason they confessed one 
Lord, one Christ, one son, one person, one nature after an ineffable union, both fully 
God and man, united in spirit, body, and mind, actually and not in theory. 



After the council was dissolved, when envoys went and told Leo w2hat had transpired, 
Leo was moved to anger. He sent and summonded Flavian, heard his confession and was 
satisfied. Then Flavian further aroused Leo against Dioscorus, saying: "He insulted your 
tome and said that you are Nestorian." [Leo] was anguished and sought a means of 
deposing Dioscorus in return for his insults. 

In this time the empress Theodora and her sister Pulcheria went to Rome on pilgrimage. 
Appropriately, they were honored by Emperor Valentinian and the entire population of 
Rome [gl69]. Valentinian took them and went to the cathedral of the Apostles Peter and 
Paul where their relics were located. When Leo heard about this he threw himself on his 
face on the ground, behind a curtain, and did not get up and go to greet them. Then they 
lifted the curtain and saw [Leo] heaving and sobbing and asked the reason. They took 
and seated him and he said: "Dioscorus has rent the orthodox faith and the throne of the 
blessed Apostles is insulted by him." They comforted him and said: "Let it be as you 
wish, whatever you command." [Leo] got them to be intercessors with Emperor 
Theodosius to order convened [another] ecclesiastical council to overturn Dioscorus. 
They swore that they would do this. Now when the emperor's wife and her sister 
Pulcheria returned, [Leo] sent with them a letter begging that a council be called with 
greater attendance than Dioscoruws' so that his tome be examined correctly and that he 
not be associated with the evil Nestorius. But when the emperor heard this, he rejected 
the request, saying: "I believe and accept the determination of Cyril and dioscorus who 
judged [gl70] the tome of Leo to be parallel to [the doctrines of] the accursed 
Nestorius." 

Emperor Theodosoius, having lived in orthodoxy, died at age 50, having reigned for 42 
years, since he began to reign at eight years of age. 

Then Theodosius' sister's son, Marcian, reigned [A.D. 450-457], selected by Pulcheria. 
He was an ignorant, uneducated old man who reigned for six years and five months. It is 
said thathe had engaged in adultery with Pulcheria earlier. Now in the first year of his 
rule, a letter of entreatycame from Leo, with the same content as the one he had set 
before about [convening another] council. It was sent to Marcian and also to Pulcheria, 
reminding her of her earlier promise. [Leo] also sent his tome to them so that they would 
forcibly and authoritatively have it circulated around to the bishops in the Asiastic land 
for them to sign prior to the assembly. They agreed for two reasons: first because of 
Pulcheria's promise and vow, and secondbecause it was the law that an emperor should 
not be seated in Constantinople without the emperor of Rome and thepatriarch. This had 
already occurred without them and they were afraid of turbulence. Thus they wrote a 
letter full of entreaties and threats [gl71] from the emperor and Pulcheria and by princes 
and the bishops sent by Leo, they sent the letter throughout the land. They got the signed 
agreement of 446 bishops. 



Now when[the emissaries] returned and took Leo's tome to the emperor and Pulcheria 
on which were 446 bishops' signatures, they were overjoyed and signed it themselves. 
Thus they ordered convened an assembly embracing all the countries under their sway 
except for Armenia which was not under they rule. In the second year of Marcian's reign, 
700 bishops assembled. Then principals were: Tromopicos, Lilopas, Likinisos, and 
Ascolion of Rome, representing Leo; Juvenal of Jerusalem; Dioscoros of Alexandria; 
Domus of Antioch; Basil of Seleucia; Peter the Iberian, the bishop of Gaza and chief 
[bishop] of Palestine. They placed at the head of the assembly Theodoritos whom Cyril 
had anathematized at Ephesus. And Diosorus remarked: "What impiety is this? Saint 
Paul said 'If I rebuild something which has been demolished, I, too, am guilty' How 
could such a man, tainted by anathemna [gl72] be the head and builder of a dead 
thing?" Juvenal at first supported him and moved everyone to be with Dioscorus. They 
said: "Cyril anathematized anyone adding new things [to orthodox docrine] and we 
concur. We anathematize anyone introducing new definitions. Let them also be cursed by 
Cyril." Following this, the emperor served in peron and went about flattering, 
beseeching, and bribing. He gave to Juvenal three districts in the land of the Palestinians 
and with pleading brought him into agreement along with the 440 bishops who had 
previously signed [the circulating document'. Those who kept to orthodoxy with 
Dioscorus were 254 [clerics] who endured anathemas, bannings, harassment, and death, 
but did not depart from the love of Christ. [The majority of attendees] accepted the tome 
of Leo with two distinct natures [for Christ] and, deceitfully, the virginity of the Mother 
of God. Yet as those wicked men separated the nature of man from her, how could she 
be the Mother of God? The entire world became filled with agitation and blood. The 
council lasted for two and a half years. Those who [previously] had been exiled and 
anathematized by Cyril and Dioscorus returned to honor and rule, fortified by troops and 
imperial edicts. Juvenal, among them, went to Jerusalem [gl73]. 

Then there was great disturbance in Jerusalem as they did not accept [Juvenal]. They 
ordained their own patriarch, Theodorus. But Juvenal wrote to Marcian who sent a 
military commander with troops, and they removed Theodorus and established Juvenal. 
And he again circulated through the land of Palestine and the Philistines and turned 
[Christians] to heresy, while the orthodox were beaten, persecuted, and had their 
belongings seized. Many of the Jews circulated around destroying the orthodox. Now 
there was a man named Peter who then was the venerable bishop of Gaza. It is said that 
he was son of the king of the Iberians/Georgians who previously had been sent to 
Constantinople as a hostage. There he willingly practised severe asceticism, became 
renowned for his virtue, and was forcibly made a bishop. [Peter] upbraided Marcian, 
cursed the council [of Chalcedon] and departed in sadness. No one dared to reproach 
him, because of his supreme virtue. This Peter wrote to the Armenians, congratulating 
them on not attending the council and adding [gl74]: "At Chalcedon they apostasized 
Christ. Remain firm in your patrimonial faith which the Lord bestowed on you and your 



land. For just as once the seed of humanity spread from there throughout the world, so 
has the seed of orthodox faith been preserved among you. And it will spread from you to 
many. My sons, stay firm on the ineffable rock of Christ." 

We, who believe in Almighty God the Father, the Only Begotten Son, our Lord and 
Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit of the true God, glorify the Holy Trinity and the 
One God, now and forever, for all eternity. Amen [gl75]. 

We omit the translation of 72 numbered paragraphs on pp. 176-206, denouncing 
Chalcedon. 

Continue (composite edition) 



The Chronicle of 

Michael the Great, 

Patriarch of the Syrians 

1870 Edition 

Translated from Classical Armenian 
by Robert Bedrosian 



Return to Main Menu for Michael's Chronicle 
(Composite edition) 



Chapters 1-12 below were translated from the Classical Armenian text of Jerusalem, 
1870, and comprise pages 1-223 of that edition. 

From Adam to the Amazons. 1 . 

The Amazons. Who Were Women Kings, and Other Kings of the Babylonians. 2. 

Moses Crosses the Red Sea. 3. 

The Queen [of Sheba] Visits Solomon. 4. 

The Translation of the Old Testament on the Island of Cyprus. 5. 
The Selection and Deeds of the Apostles. 6. 

Abgar. Who Sent an Artist to Jerusalem to Make a Portrait of Christ. 7. 
The Severe Famine that Occurred in Diocletian's Time. 8. 

The Heretic Arian. 9. 

Julian the Apostate. 10. 

The Priest Melitos. Who Ruled that Ignorant Folk Not be Ordained. 1 1 . 

The Heretic Nestorius. 12. 



Chapters 13 to the end of the Chronicle were translated from the Classical Armenian text 
of Jerusalem, 1871, and comprise pages 207-503 of that edition. This section also 
includes, in italics, material from the 1 870 edition. 

Continued Translation from the 1871 Edition 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 1 

From Adam to the Amazons. 



[1] Listen now, you students and lovers of God, who seek knowledge about events and 
chronology. With great diligence we have gathered numerous accounts from sacred and 
secular documents and have, for your sake as well as ours, selected from them only the 
most useful and rational information, leaving aside what is poisonous, inaccurate, and 
irrelevant [end of grabar (Classical Armenian text) page 1; henceforth shown as, for 
example, [gl]. For [the early authors] wrote, as it were, in the dawn and noontime and, 
given the philosophy of those times, in an expansive, comprehensive manner. 

It is our misfortune, on the other hand, to live in a period when the day is on the wane, 
and so [we write] in an abbreviated, contracted fashion. Seeing our [era as] blunted by 
ignorance we wanted to dispel the darkness of that ignorance with the breath of [the 
Holy] Spirit. [Thus] we have resolved to pass the rays of the Sun of Justice like a torch 
to [illuminate] our hearts, and to present this book to Zion, our holy mother, to serve as 
education to her children who will hear about forgiveness from On High. Give us your 
prayers, then, so that our labors bear fruit. 

It is appropriate now to provide you with the names of the historians from whose works 
we have constructed this [Chronicle]. 

[The period] from [Adam], the root of humankind, until the coming of Christ was 
described by [g2] the Jewish [authors] [Julius] Africanus, Jesu, Hegesippus, and 
Josephus. 

Anianus the cleric from Alexandria, who wrote [about the period] from Adam to the 
Emperor ("king") Constantine. 

Eusebius Pamphili, who compiled a book from these and other historians, [and also 
wrote a book] called Ecclesiastical History. 



Zosimus, Sokrat, and Theodoret the Heretic, who wrote [about the period] from 
Constantine to Theodosius [II] the Lesser. 

John of Antioch [or Alexandria], Djebel, the lecter Theodorus of Constantinople, and 
Zakaria, bishop of Mitylene, wrote [about the period] from Theodosius to Justinian the 
Old. 

John of Asia wrote [about the period] from Emperor Anastasius to Emperor Maurice. 

Gouria (Koria) the savant wrote [about the period] from Justinian to Emperor Heraclius. 

The entry of the Arabs into Syria during the time of Heraclius. The blessed James [or is 
it Jacob?] of Edessa briefly wrote about these matters [g3]. 

The deacon Dionysius wrote [about the period] from Maurice to Theophilus, emperor of 
the Greeks, and to Harun ("Aaron"), caliph ("emir") of the Arabs. 

Bishop Ignatius of Melitene and the presbyter Saliba from the same city, John of 
Kesoun, and Dionysius of Alexandria wrote short histories [about the period] from 
Adam until their own times. 

Putting forth the same effort [as these authors], we too, with the aid of God and to the 
glory of God, will weave a work whose fabric is made up of strands drawn from these 
and other [writers], colored with the vibrant hues of splendid flowers. 

Inquiring minds should not be dismayed by seeming discrepancies in the dating. For we 
found many such discrepancies between the Septuagint and other translations of 
Scripture, especially in the translation which King Abgar had made at the order of 
Thaddeus the Apostle [g4]. [This translation] was corrected by James of Edessa, who 
went among the Jews because of a suspicion that they had not provided accurate 
[exemplars] of all their writings, out of loathing for the heathens. 

There should be no surprise in this. For, indeed, it is the word of the Lord that mankind 
errs in understanding correctly times and seasons, and that only the Creator and Lord can 
know time. 

Let us, remaining firm in our faith, begin examining the literature with Adam, the first 
man. And we observe here, right at the outset, some discrepancy in the chronology 
[provided by different] historians. 

For example, according to the Septuagint, Adam, at 230 years of age, became the father 
of Seth and then lived for an additional 460 years, for a total of 930 years, which was the 



137th [or 135th] year of Mahalalel; and he died 60 years before the birth of Enoch. 
There are gross errors here. 

According to the Abgar [version of the Bible] which is used by the Syrians, Adam was 
230 years old [g5] when he became the father of Seth; and then he lived an additional 
700 years. And indeed his entire lifespan was 930 years. Anianus cites a passage from 
the Book of Enoch which says that 70 years after Adam was expelled from Paradise, Eve 
conceived and bore Cain. Seven years later Abel was born. When Abel was 53 years of 
age, Cain killed him, and his parents mourned for 1 06 years. Then Seth, a child of 
consolation, was born. Madidimos [Methodius] of Patara says that 30 years after Adam's 
expulsion from Paradise he begat Cain and his sister Caina, and thirty years after that he 
begat Abel and his sister Abela. One hundred and thirty years later, Abel was slain. 
When Adam was 230 years of age, he begat Seth. From this [example alone] you can see 
the chronological discrepancies. 

Seth became the father of Enoch when he was 205 years of age, or, according to the 
Syriac [version] [g6] 160 years, living for a total of 970 years according to both the 
Greek and the Syriac [accounts]. Enoch was 190 years of age when he became the father 
of Cainan, according to Africanus, while according to the Syriac [version], he was 160. 

This Enoch, out of respect for the laws of nature, began practising good deeds and also 
taught his chldren to do so. And he confidentally called on the name of the Lord God to 
aid his good intentions. 

Two hundred of [Enoch]'s sons and brothers — who were educated by him — remembed 
the life in Paradise, and rejected marriage. They went up onto Mt. Hermon and lived in 
abstenence, occupying themselves with heavenly virtue, as a result of which they were 
styled the "Sons of God." Enoch lived for 905 years and then died. Cainan, at 130 years 
of age, became the father of Mahalalel, according to the Septuagint, while the Syriac 
[version] says that he was 70 years of age. [Cainan] lived a total of [g7] 860 years. At 
167 years of age, Mahalalel became the father of Jared. The Syriac [version] says that he 
was 67 years of age. [Mahalalel] died at the age of 897. 

The Septuagint says that Jared became the father of Enoch at age 162, while the Syriac 
[version] says that he was 62; [Jared] lived a total of 962 years, which was the 600th 
year of Noah. 

In his [Jared' s] 40th year, was the 1000th year of the expulsion of Adam [from Paradise]. 

During this period there were no kings, since the first-born Adam sufficiently advised 
them until the 137th year of Mahalalel. He died 100 years prior to the birth of Jared. 
Seth and his children, in obedience to the Lord's command, did not mix with the line of 



Cain. 

One thousand years hence the descendants of Cain established Samiros as king over 
themselves [g8]. 

Now in that period, as Anianus relates from the Book of Enoch, the descendants of Seth 
who were up on Mt. Hermon, grew weary of the religious lifestyle, and came down from 
the mountain. However, their brethren became angry at them, persecuted them, and 
refused to give them wives. And so [the descendants of Seth] went and mingled with the 
line of Cain, and chose all their women from amongst them. Thus did evil increase upon 
the earth: prostitution, extortion, and from them, wars and murders. 

In this same period, the sons of Seth, who were dwelling in the world's third climatic 
zone, established over themselves a king named Alorus. It was he who first discovered 
the signs of the Zodiac and the planets, and calculated their revolutions. Chaldeanism and 
that country called Chaldea was named by him. He reigned [g9] for 98 years and 230 
days. He was succeeded by his son, Eghp'aros, who reigned for 29 years and 215 days. 
He was succeeded by Almion the Chaldean who reigned for 97 years and 80 days. 

[Almion] was followed by Amanon the Chaldean, who ruled for 2 1 8 years and 118 days. 
He was followed by Amakoros the Chaldean, who ruled for 197 years and 195 days. 
After [Amakoros], Dinos, the Chaldean shepherd ruled for 98 years and 80 days. After 
him Evturinkos ruled for 175 years and 230 days. He was succeeded by Mamp'ios from 
the city of Anarkon, who reigned for 197 years and [glO] 230 days. He was followed by 
Awtiartios from the city of Anark'on, who ruled for 78 years and 330 days. He was 
succeeded by his son, K'isut'ros, who ruled for 175 years and 195 days. The total of all 
these reigns is 1,180 years and 205 days. In addition, 1062 years passed when there were 
interregnums, with no monarchs ruling. Combining these figures, we have a total of 2242 
years. It was at this point that the great Flood occurred. 

Let us return to our previous narration. When Enoch was 165 years old, he fathered 
Methuselah, [gl 1] and for 200 years he pleased God, receiving from Him the gift of 
prophesying the future. It was [Enoch] who created [alphabetic] characters with short 
strokes and many letters, which he used to write the history of his predecessors and his 
own prophesies. [One day], he was translated from this world and only God knows 
where he was taken to. Some say that he was transported to Paradise; others, that 
Paradise was not opened but it was a thief [who kidnapped him]. But it appears that 
[Enoch] was placed in the Upper Paradise by Almighty God. When it was opened by the 
Cross, he descended to [the earthly?] Paradise. If this [interpretation] pleases you, it is 
harmless [to believe it]. 

Methuselah was 187 years of age when he became the father of Lamech. This is 



according to the Septuagint. According to Anianus, [Methuselah] was 165 years of age, 
while the Samaritans say he was 82. [Methuselah] lived for a total of 962 years, until the 
97th year of Shem. Others maintain that [Methuselah] lived for 969 years. Alexander 
[Anianus?] adds that after [gl2] his son was born, he lived an additional 788 years and 
died around the time of the great Flood. 

When Lamech was 188 years old he fathered Noah. According to the Syriac [version] he 
was 1 82 years, while according to the Samaritan [version] 53 years old. He lived for a 
total of 773 years, until the 69th year of Shem, and died 29 years before his father; 
others say 49 years. Noah the righteous was born 1666 years after Adam's expulsion 
from Paradise. He matured to adulthood and was more pleasing [to God] than the other 
men of that period. He lived alone and did not marry until he was 500 years of age. 
When [Noah] was 58 years old, the second of the world's epochs was completed. 
Anianus relates [about the earlier epoch] that enormous, grotesque giants dwelled in that 
period, and that God abandoned them. Injustice had increased [gl3] and the world was 
full of warfare. Corpses, in heaps, covered the summits of the mountains and were 
spread across the plains as well, because the spirit of the Lord's power had forsaken 
them. 

Now the blessed Noah, who had married a woman named Nemzava [or, Nemzara] and 
had fathered his three sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, at the command of God 
constructed a large, three-storied ark as a repository for the seeds of the second growth, 
under the care of the Creator. 

When Noah had completed his 500th year, the great Flood commenced on the 27th day 
of the second month of ar, and continued for a full year ending on the exact same day of 
the same month. Noah emerged from the ark with his sons and the animals who had 
entered with him. He revered God with sacrifices and received the blessing which had 
been given to the first man, as well as the prohibition not to shed the blood of rational 
[beings] nor to eat [gl4] the blood of non-rational [beings]. And then [God] gave as a 
sign His covenant that He would not [again] strike at all of humankind because of their 
sins, but would [continue] to punish the guilty. 

I am surprised that Josephus states that the ark came to rest on Mount Euphimes in the 
land of Pisidia, since Scripture accurately identifies that mountain as Mount Masis in 
Greater Armenia. After the Flood, Noah lived an additional 350 years. He fathered a 
son, Maniton, and then divided [the world] among his sons. 

He gave to Shem the land of the Persians, and of the Syrians, and [lands] from Palestine 
to the Rhinokurua that is the Nile, and Bactria. [Noah gave] to Ham [lands] from the 
Rhinokurua to Gadiron; while he gave to Japheth [lands] from Media to Gadiron in the 



north. 

The line of Japheth holds [lands] from the sources of the Tigris River, which divides 
Media and Persia; the line of Shem holds [lands] east and [gl5] west of the Euphrates 
River and the Tigris River; the line of Ham holds the Gihon River, which delineates their 
borders. 

The offspring of Japheth are: Armenians, Macedonians, Medes, Greeks, Latins, 
Aghuans [or, Alans], and Georgians. 

The offspring of Ham are: Egyptians, Indians, Hittites, Jebusites, the Ethiopians who are 
the Kushites, the Amorites, Girgasites, Arvadites, and others. 

The offspring of Shem are: Assyrians, Chaldeans or Syrians, the Hebrews, the Franks, 
Persians, and others. 

The sons of Shem possess the middle [portion] of the earth, from east to west. 

The sons of Japheth possess the north, from east to west, while the sons of Ham possess 
the south. And [Noah's son] Maniton took the far side of the sea as his portion. He asked 
his father for Adam's bones which had been kept in the ark. He was given the knee bones 
and then sent to the west. It was he who developed astrology, [gl6] discovered augury, 
and the phenomena of omens. Some say that the Madianites are descended from him. It 
is said that Noah also had a daughter, named "Star" [Arm. Astgh] who received from her 
father as inheritance a part of the southfern regions]. 

Now Noah cautioned [his descendants] and applied an oath with curses should they ever 
deprive each other. Rather, they should abide in justice in their own portions [of the 
world] living in fear of God, lest they be killed. Noah survived until the 380th year of 
Eber, and then he died. According to the Septuagint, when Shem was 130 years of age 
he became the father of Arphaxad; according to the Syrians he was 102. Shem inherited 
the bones of the First Created [Adam and Eve] and he interred them in his portion of the 
[bequeathed] property since Ham and his descendants were causing him sorrow. When 
Arphaxad was 135 years of age he became the father of Cainan. It was he who increased 
the errors of the Chaldeans, discovering magic [or, witchcraft], and demonstrating how 
to tell [a person's] destiny and fate based on the location of stars and the movement of 
the planets. His children [gl7] regarded him as a god, worshipped him, and erected an 
image/idol of him during his lifetime. Thus began the great evil of idolatry. [Cainan] 
constructed the city of Harran, which he named after his son, Harran. The Evangelist 
Luke [3.36] mentions [Cainan], since he had come to abolish idol worship, though 
Moses does not. When Cainan was 139 years of age, he became the father of Shalah. 
According to the historian Anianus, when Shalah was 130 years of age he fathered Eber 



and Ektan; though according to the Syrians, he was 134. When Eber was 134 years of 
age, he fathered Peleg. During his day, humankind increased and they began to go 
against and deprive one another. Then the elders assembled together and once more 
divided up the world. This is the etymology [gl8] of Peleg's name, which means 
"division." Now when Peleg was 133 years of age, he fathered Reu. 

At that time the patriarchs of the world gathered together, took counsel, and decided to 
go East to search for the original place of Adam's habitation. But behold, a sea separated 
them from Eden. And then they recalled the great Flood and that the water had resulted 
from it. They were horrified, since their own deeds were the same as those which 
brought on the Flood. For they had transgressed the oath [they had made] with Noah the 
righteous and brought on the curses by altering the boundaries which had been set for 
them. Then they said to one another: "Let us not carelessly fall prey to the same 
punishment. The land will be broken again and we will perish in the same waters." And 
so they turned back and went to the Shenar country to the wide plain of K'ghane' where 
they laid the foundation for a tower [gl9] as they sought some means of salvation from a 
sudden flood. 

They commenced building the Tower when Reu was born and continued until his 40th 
year. People brought the requisite expenses from their country, and Nimrod hunted game 
and fed the workers with this and from livestock. The principals were Lamsour [Assur], 
Hayk, and Nimrod. They worked tirelessly and unceasingly and built the enormous city 
and the tower. But then God descended in a whirlwind and demolished it. Many of the 
builders were killed, and some claim that Nimrod too died in the collapse. However we 
have confirmed that it was only subsequently that [Nimrod] was slain by Hayk, son of 
Torgom, son of Tiras, son of Gomer, son of Japheth. Hayk had refused to make an 
image of Bel and regard it as God, and so Bel came against him with an great multitude. 
And Hayk killed him [g20]. Now when the Tower collapsed, language became confused. 
God separated the one [universal] language into 72 [languages]. The line of Japheth had 
15; the line of Ham, 32; and the line of Shem, 25. And each man went by his own road. 
Nimrod built the cities of Erech (Areg), Nisibis (Mtsbin), and Edessa (Ur'ha). Now 
Prince Eber, who was a pious man, had not participated in the building of the Tower. 
And when the destruction took place, it was he who named the country Babylon, which 
translates "ruin." It is said that the original language remained with him. This is testified 
to by Saint James, Saint Ephrem, and John of Yathreb. 

It surprises me that some claim that the Israelites call themselves Hebrews after Eber, and 
that the nation of the Jews still use his language. This is an error, for the line of Israel 
begins with Jacob. They were called Hebrews only after crossing the Red Sea, because 
ebrae translates as "those who crossed over." And they received [g21] a new language 
among other blessings. For it says [in Psalms 81, 5]: "He [Jacob] heard a language which 



he did not understand." The Chaldeans today possess the original language of Adam 
which [the Hebrews] lost. Abraham was a Chaldean, and the mother tongue of 
Abraham, which Eber retained, today is held by we Chaldeans. 

When Reu was 132 (or 162) years of age, he fathered Serug. Serug, at 130 years of age 
fathered Nahor. At this time the world filled up with with opposition, warfare, and 
murder. For the descendants of Ham, on returning from the dispersal [that resulted from 
the destruction] of the Tower came to the country of Palestine by the mountains of 
Carmel and Lebanon. When they saw its plenty and its beauty, they forcibly took it from 
the line of Shem. They refused to go to their allotted [lands], and settled where they 
were, thereby again invoking the curse of Patriarch Noah [, which was first invoked] for 
laughing [at him (see Genesis 9, 20-27)] and [now] for changing the borders. 
Henceforth, [g22] the shedding of blood increased on the earth and thus the descendants 
of Shem fell into conflict. 

Now it happened that the sons of Jaktan were not satisfied with their holdings after the 
death of their father. They appointed three princes over themselves: Saba, Havila, and 
Ophir, increased in numbers, and then began manufacturing weapons. They added to the 
sword and bow, which existed before, armor, helmet, and shield. And with these they 
persecuted their brothers and other folk. In their worship, they erected an idol to 
conquest. The frightened [victims] holed up in natural fortresses and, learning from 
them, constructed their own strongholds and keeps. Out of fear of the sons of Jaktan, 
they went in to them and remained there. But once again [the sons of Jaktan] constructed 
machinery to take and crush [these] fortresses and cities. Finally, the terrified [residents] 
pleaded with them to take as their portion whatever [lands] they wanted. Thus [the sons 
of Jaktan] consented, made peace, and ended the unrest. Saba took over the incense [or 
perfume] -bearing country, which he named Saba after himself; Ophir took the country of 
[g23] gold mines, which is India; and Havila took the country of precious stones which 
he built up and called Havilat after himself. As for Serug, after fathering Nahor he built a 
city which he named Seruj after himself. Be aware of the fact that from the [time of the] 
Flood until this point the Syriac translation subtracts 100 years from the life of each of 
the patriarchs. When Nahor was 78 years of age, he fathered Terah. When Terah was 70 
years of age, he fathered Abraham. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 2 

The Amazons, Who Were Women Kings and Other Kings of the 

Babylonians. 



Around this time there arose the Amazons, a force of women warriors. Here is how it 
happened. As the kingdom of Thogorma lacked a male heir, the crown went to a valiant 
and brilliant woman who refused to take a husband. At the head of a powerful army she 
triumphantly devastated and enslaved many lands, and no one was able to withstand her. 
But then a conspiracy arose within the army to dislodge her [g24] from [rule of] the 
kingdom. She, however, became apprised of this and, one by one, destroyed all the men 
in the army, creating an [entirely] female force. She continued to be successful and took 
over many lands. She separated out the males, allowed intercourse only once a year, then 
separated the males again. As for the male [children] born, some were killed and some 
were given to the men [to raise]. It became a powerful state, and conquered a city in the 
northern part [of Asia Minor] called Ilium (Alio'n). Now all the kings of the country were 
harassed [by the Amazon state] and grew weary of it. And so the kings of eleven 
kingdoms united, went against it, and conquered the stronghold of that kingdom, thereby 
removing this abomination from the land. And the men took over rule of the kingdom, as 
was the norm in all other countries. 

Now let us return to our narration beginning with the series of monarchs of Babylon, 
where Nimrod reigned during the first 69 years. His crown was woven [from cloth], as 
Menander the mage wrote [g25], and not forged [from metal]. After his death, the 
Chaldean Kambiros ruled in the 56th year of Serug. It was he who built the city of 
Sho'sh, called Isfahan, 40 years after the death of Bel. [Kambiros] also began the practise 
of selling captives, and of gold and silver mining. He died after ruling for 85 years. Samir 
succeeded him in the 106th [or 190th] year of Serug, and ruled for 72 years. [Samir], of 
the line of Shem, warred against the Greeks and the Franks. He also warred against the 
descendants of Ham and the Galatians, forcibly expelling them from the mountains, and 
placing the line of Ham under taxation. [Samir] also built many cities [g26] in the land of 
the Chaldeans and the Parthians. It was he who began using weights and measures, 



dyeing, painting and decorating of temples, and money and dahekans with his name 
stamped on them, fabric weaving, and fabrics with patterns [or, pictures] on them as the 
Mage Samandros noted. [Samandros] also said that [Samir] had three eyes and horns, 
was a powerful, giagantic personage, and expelled the line of Nimrod from Chaldea. In 
the 25th year of Nahor, the agony of Job took place, as the Caananite Arodh relates: 
"There was among the sons of Jaktan a wealthy man named Job, who fought seven times 
with satan, and, by the power of God, had victory over him." Joseph the scribe says that 
Job's testing took place in the 90th year of Nahor. Others believe that this story concerns 
Yobab, son of Zareh, of the line of Isaiah [Genesis 36.33], and took place 500 years 
before Moses. Now in the 7th year of Terah, Arphaxad became king in [g27] Babylon, 
and ruled for 1 8 years. After this, rule of the Chaldean kingdom was interrupted for 7 
years until Belus (Vilos) ascended. This [interregnum] was due to the fact that the 
Chaldeans, Assyrians, and Medes were battling each other for the kingdom. Finally the 
Assyrian Belus ended [Assyria's] submission to the Babylonians, took power, and ruled 
over all of Asia for 62 years. Now the city of Assur is located near Mosul, and the land 
was called Assyria because it was originally fortified by Ashur. A certain Xarus ruled in 
Babylon and was slain by Terah' s brother, Saheron, because, it is said, he fashioned a 
golden statue of Nachor, chief priest of the idols of Caanan. In this period Damascus was 
built by Marigos [or, Marbios] the Hittite, 20 years before the birth of Abraham. 
Josephus states that "Damascus was built by Hosea, son of Aram." The historian 
Andronikos calculated that 1081 years elapsed from the Flood to the time of Abraham; 
3035 years [elapsed] from Adam; and 43 1 years [elapsed] from the allottment of lands to 
the time of Abraham [g28]. At this point Greek and Syrian calculations coincide. 

Nahor died when Abraham was born. Apparently the name of Abraham's mother was 
Milcah (Malk'a). After Abraham's birth, Sarah, the daughter of Terah, was born from the 
woman named Armut', and not from Abraham's mother as he himself told Pharaoh and 
Abimelich. Now when Abraham was 15 [or, 17] years of age he began to seek God, in 
this manner. The land of Chaldea was fertile and fruitful, and the population, engorged 
[with wealth], occupied themselves with astrology, sorcery, and other vain pursuits. Now 
when God saw them thus wallowing in sin, He sent chastisement to them in the form of 
multitudes of jackdaws which ate up the ripening crops and destroyed the vineyards. And 
this happened for many years on end. The Chaldeans, consequently, tilled and sowed 
less, and retained men to ward off the birds. And they made sacrifices to their gods, and 
made pledges, yet their sorcerers and witches [g29] were unable to find a way out. 
Abraham, who was 17 years of age, guarded his father's fields and grew weary from his 
labors of hunting the birds. And, sighing, he implored all the false gods — the sun, moon, 
stars, and the graven images — to give him some respite, but he was not heard. Then one 
night he realized that the chastisement was from God and that it was not by chance, since 
it lasted for such a long period. Nor was it from the false gods since they would have 
acceded to the wishes of their worshippers once they received their due. [Abraham] had 



studied astrology under the direction of his father, who knew the knowledge of his 
ancestors. Thus Abraham examined this art and realized that all the celestial spheres and 
the stars depending on them had some [other] internal motivator. Then a ray of light sent 
by Almighty God penetrated his heart and he acknowledged that there was some 
unknown God moving and regulating everything, [Who was also] the creator of 
everything, Who had been forgotten by His own creations. It is because His will is not 
being done by us [g30] that his vengeance has been wrought on us. Throughout the night 
[Abraham] confirmed [the veracity of] this [discovery]. When day broke, he went to the 
fields, fell on his knees, raised up his arms and exclaimed: "Oh, Thou unknown God, 
creator and motivator of all, creator and motivator of these birds, deliver us from them 
and reveal Yourself and Your will to us." As soon as these words were uttered, the birds 
disappeared from all fields in the city, and Abraham said: "Greatness and glory in the 
highest heaven, behold, I have found God. Besides You, there is no other god, Who 
quickly heeds [our prayers]. Goodness and power are Yours, and Your glory fills the 
world." Then Abraham returned to his home and told his father [what had happened]. 
They did not believe him, but he did not cease praying to the true God so that He more 
openly manifest Himself. 

In that period King Belus died and his son, Ninus, reigned for 52 [or, 12] years. He was 
the second king [g31] of the Assyrians, who built Nineveh, and located [the seat of] his 
kingdom there. He fashioned a golden image of his father and had it worshipped. It was 
during his reign that the cities Rehoboth [Arbil], Rasan [Ras'ain], and Kghane' 
[Kalnai/Salik/Seleucia] were built. And during this time Jerusalem was built by 
Melchisedek the Canaanite, who was said to be the son of the Canaanite king known as 
Melk'i. Now his father wanted to sacrifice him to the idols. But when God saw the power 
that was hidden in that child — who, indeed, was worthy of being a model for His 
Only-Begotten — He demolished the pagan temple, burying the parents and the priests, 
and took the child away to a deserted spot, where he was nourished by the care of God. 
He became a wondrous priest of God and a king of the country and built a city named 
Ureshghem, which translates "Village of Peace" [g32]. 

Abraham reached the age of 60, growing more pleasing to God. And when God heard 
his lengthy and tireless prayers and observed his unshakable faith, He said to him: "Leave 
that country of yours and I will give you that part of your father's Shem's inheritance that 
was deprived to you, and thereafter I will advise you according to your need. And I will 
give that country to you and to your descendants in perpetuity." 

Abraham heard this and told his father, who wanted to arise and go with him. They 
reached Harran from Ur of the Chaldeans. It was there [in Ur] that they had halted, and 
received dwelling places and property, and it was there that his father erected idols. 
Abraham set afire the temple where the idols had been installed. Now his brother, Haran, 



wanted to extinguish the flames, and burned to death in the presence of his father. 

Now some say that matters occurred differently, and that God killed [Haran]. 

Abraham was 75 years of age when God again commanded him to go to the land of 
Canaan. He left his clan in Harran [g33]. Some say that he had a wife other than Sarah 
and a son named Ovreste', who did not want to accompany him. But [Abraham], 
unswerving to the command of the Almighty, arose and departed. 

However, there is a some lack of certainty in the narration, since his father begat him at 
the age of 70 and died at 205. Step'annos says that it was after his father's death that he 
moved, when Abraham was 75 years old. This is a surprising [assertion] since Abraham 
was 135 years of age [at the time]. The Samaritan [version] correctly states that Terah 
was 70 years of age when he fathered Abraham, and that he lived for an additional 75 
years. Moreover, some say that Sarah was descended from Eok'an, and a daughter of 
Haran. But how could Haran have been Sarah's father, ten years earlier, when Scripture 
clearly notes that Abraham was ten years older than Sarah? We believe that the way we 
have reckoned [this chronology] is correct. 

After Abraham had come into the land of the Caananites, he entered Egypt when he was 
85 years of age [g34]. 

There he fathered Ishmael from the Egyptian woman Hagar. Sarah was untouched by 
Pharaoh so that she could bear [a son] like unto Our Lord, from a chaste womb. 

King Ninus, terrified of his wife — who was much harsher than he — fled into obscurity, 
some say to Cyprus, where he died. 

Thus did his wife, Semiramis ("Shamiram") take the crown and rule over the Assyrians. 
She reigned for 46 years, though other say 12 [or, 52 years]. She fashioned earthen 
mounds, called tils as a precaution against [flooding caused by] rain, and for defense. 
However, we have discovered another explanation for these tils. It is said that when 
idol-worship had increased throughout the world, God became furious with the demons 
and caused hurricanes which shook the earth to its foundations, and demolished cities 
and homes. Here and there the storms buried the idols and the demons under these 
earthen mounds. The demons dwell in them, being tormented to this day. And we hear 
that witches practise their arts especially near these mounds, and that the thunderous 
sounds of the demons arise therefrom [g35]. 

Abram, now renewed with knowledge of God and endowed with a new life by 
revelation, was called Abraham, while his wife, Sarai, was [now] called Sarah. [These 
names] mean "excellent father" and "noble woman." 



Abraham was circumcised at 99 years of age, and by this he was distinct from the other 
peoples he lived among. He became the father of Isaac at the age of 1 00, according to 
God's pledge [to him]. At 1 17 [or, 115] years of age, he led his son to sacrifice and 
received [from God] a double gift: [his son, spared] and the ram substituted as a model 
for the Only Begotten. Some say that Isaac was 30 years of age when led to sacrifice. 
When Isaac was 9 years old, Abraham was informed that his brother Nahor had become 
the father of sons and daughters. When Isaac was 37 years old, Sarah died. 

It is completely untenable that, as some say, Sarah died instantly when she heard the bad 
news that her son had been sacrificed. Abraham was 175 [g36] years of age, and Jacob 
was 37 [or, 35] years of age, when [Abraham] passed, full of goodness, and pleasing to 
God. 

When [Abraham] was 148 years of age he took Kendura and had six children from her. 

During this period, Semiramis was levelling the ground in Assyria [or, Asia] because of 
floods. Some claim that Abraham was involved with this labor. This was also the era of 
the [birth of the] kingdom of the Sicyonians. Similarly, a certain Kre's ruled as king over 
the Cretans, giving his name to that country; and Pyrrha, also called Peloponnese, [ruled 
and] gave his name to that country. Ishmael was born when Abraham was 88 years of 
age. The Arabs, Saracens, Ishmaelites, and Tachiks are named after him. Isaac wed 
Rebecca when he was 40, and she conceived when he was 60. [Rebecca] went to ask 
God [g37] [about her pregnancy] by means of their acquaintance, Melchizedek; for there 
were two children in her womb, and they were in competition. 

Here is what Melchizedek, the priest of God, said speaking with the Lord's words: 
"There are two nations, two peoples, in your womb. One is Jacob, from whom the 
Israelites descend; the other is Esau, from whom the Edomites descend, [and from 
them,] the Franks. 

In this period, the Achaeans were ruled by Inachus, whom the Egyptians called Isis and 
Sebusis. This woman [Io] was the daughter of Hur and gave the name Inachus to the 
river Argos. 

In the 75th year of Isaac, Apis was in the 17th year of his reign in Egypt. Some called 
him a god, some called [his name] Serapis. The 180th year of Isaac was year 31 of Levi. 

Abimelik, the Adarite [g38] [or, from Adar/Gerar (Genesis 20.1)] king of the Philistines, 
was their friend. When Isaac was 137 [or, 135] years of age, Jacob went to Haran, with 
the blessing of his father. 

In this period Prince Emor built the city of Shechem in the country of the Philistines, 



named after his son, Shechem, who was abducted by Dina. 

When Jacob was 80 years old he married Leah who was the daughter of Laban the 
Syrian. When [Jacob] was 85, he became the father of Ruben; when he was 89, he 
became the father of Levi; when he was 9 1 , he became the father of Joseph. And when 
he was 1 00 years of age, he returned to his father Isaac. 

When Jacob was 50 years of age, P'aron ruled as king of the Greeks. It was he who first 
established [their] laws, courts, and judges. When Jacob was 75 years of age, Ogyges 
built the city of Eleusis in Attica, and Thessalus was king of the Thessalians [g39] to 
which land he gave his name. The city of Messina was built [at this time]. When Jacob 
was 1 1 years of age, Apis ruled as king of the Greeks, though some say he left his 
brother as king of the Greeks while he himself went to Egypt. This is the Egyptian Apis 
[Apophis] who built the city of Memphis in Egypt. 

Joseph, at the age of 17 [or, 15] was sold [into slavery]. In his 30th year he [began] 
ruling over Egypt for 80 years. In Egyptian history, this is known as the 17th dynasty of 
the Shepherds. 

In Jacob's 130th year, he went to Egypt. In Joseph's 50th year, Sparta was built by the 
sons of P'orona. 

After Semiramis ruled Zames; after him, Belochus; after him, Mena. Jacob died at the 
age of 145. After the death of Isaac, in the country of the Canaanites the children of 
Esau were tributary to Moab, Ammon, and Aram. Then the [sons of] Jacob came against 
them and slew them. And thus did the sons of Esau become tributary to sons of Jacob 
[g40]. 

As regards Jabob's journey to Egypt, the Syriac translation [of the Bible] says that 70 
people went with him, whereas the Septuagint says that there were 75 people. However, 
the Septuagint is including in the total Joseph's sons and their descendants, who were not 
yet born. 

When Levi was 45 years of age, he became the father of Kohath. Some place the trials 
of Job in this period. When Kohath was 60 years of age, he became the father of 
Amram. When Amram was 70 years of age, he became the father of Moses. 

During this period Alaparus ruled over the Assyrians. 

Joseph died at 1 10 years of age, which was the 6th year of Amram, and the 286th year 
of God's promise. 



After Joseph's death, the children of Israel fell into bondage. [In Egypt] Chebron ruled 
for 13 years, followed by Amenophis for 43 years. It was he who began drowning the 
children of Israel in the Nile River [g41]. 

Now it happened that Moses, who had been thus thrown [into the waters], was raised by 
Thermutis, daughter of the Pharaoh whom the Hebrews call Mar'i, who was the wife of 
Kanthur, king of the city of Memphis. Moses was saved from the water in the 350th year 
of God's promise, and when he was 10 years of age he was given to study with Yanes 
and Yamres, sons of the Chaldean sorcerer Barkobas (Barisbay). They had been driven 
there [to Egypt] for stealing the boys of their country and sacrificing them to the idols 
which had been erected in the name of their father. They were well versed in Chaldean, 
Greek , and especially Egyptian lore, and Mar'i, the queen of queens, obliged them to 
instruct Moses. 

When Moses was 22 years old he became a ruler [or, prince] and constructed the city of 
Hermopolis, which was also called by the name of Moses' patron, Mar'ia. 

In this period the Ethiopians, who had been tributary to the Egyptians, came to 
themselves [g42], rebelled, and came against the Egyptians whom they found 
unprepared. Among the captives they seized and carried off was the aforementioned 
mother of Moses. Then Moses became a general of Egypt, warring with the Ethiopians 
for 10 years. He went against them over a desert full of snakes, with the help of gazelles 
and storks, since [the snakes] could not evade them. After 10 years he took Ethiopia and 
their queen, Thesbas, as well as [retrieving] his mother, Mar'i, and returned to Egypt with 
a reputation for valor and bravery. But Mar'i's husband was envious of him and wished 
to kill him, though he was wary of his wife. 

When Mar'i had died, Moses buried her. It was then that Mar'i's husband sent Xanthus, a 
persecutor of the Israelites to kill Moses. However, Moses anticipated him, killed 
[Xanthus], and fled into Midian (Madiam). When Moses had fled, Ane's and Amre's 
took the children of Israel 15 days' journey into the desert where they constructed a 
paradise for 17 years and very securely fortified it. Upon the completion [g43] of this 
work, [Ane's and Amre's] selected 980 innocent children from among the sons of Israel, 
sacrificed them to the demons, invited the leader of the demons to the sacrifice, and then 
established [them] as protectors of the paradise. Thereafter, the demons obeyed the 
sorcerers regarding the working of talismans and all other such artifices. 

Prometheus lived in that period, he who, it is said, created mankind, since he vanquished 
ignorance with knowledge. 

Moses then went among the Cushites, to Raguel, son of Dadan, son of Jektan, 
descendants of Kethura. [Moses] married his daughter [Zipporah] and fathered two 



children by her when he was 40 years of age. It is said that in this period Asclepiades the 
physician revealed his skill, and Atlas, brother of Prometheus, the astronomer supposedly 
held up the sky. Euripedes says that [Atlas] was a mountain higher than the clouds. 

And it was in this period, they say, that the Ethiopians crossed the Indus River and went 
and dwelled [g44] near Egypt. The Curetes and Corybantes created a Dance with 
weapons. 

They say that at the time of Deucalion Thessaly experienced a flood; at the time of 
Phaeton, Ethiopia was burned; and that many other disasters occurred here and there, as 
Plato relates. Some say that [in this period] Cecrops ruled in Atke, which is Attica, 
although others say that he ruled in Egypt initially and then in Attica. The Greeks claim 
that he built Athens and named it after his wife. Supposedly he had two natures, [some 
say] because he was so tall, others because he spoke two languages, Egyptian and Greek. 
[Cecrops] also ruled [part of] Asia Minor, giving his name to [the district of] 
Cappadocia. 

It was under [Cecrops] that the olive tree made its appearance in the Acropolis at Athens, 
thus engendering [that] legend. It was he who called Aramazd, Zeus, was the first to use 
the ox as a sacrificial animal. In the same year, Deucalion began to rule as king in the 
area around [Mt] Parnassus. 

It was from Hellenus, one of the sons of Deucalion, that the Hellenes, the Greeks, took 
their name. Similarly, the Atticans took their name from Acta [g45]. 

In the 25th [or, 420th] year of the promise to Abraham, the city of Corinth was built. It is 
sometimes called Ephra. Eusebius says that Cronos the Athenian had a daughter named 
Atis, and that the land of Attica bears her name. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 3 

Moses Crosses the Red Sea. 



Moses was 70 years of age when he merited a visitation from God. For 10 years he 
delayed going to Egypt, but he went at age 80, compelled by God. This was the 430th 
year of the promise of God, made in the 75th year of Abraham. It was the 205th year 
since the arrival of Jacob in Egypt. And [the Israelites] had been in Egypt for 225 years. 
Four hundred years had passed since God's command to slay the Egyptians. And the 
sons of Israel did not want to be saved, rather, they rejected their savior. Now Moses had 
delayed for 10 years, for this was [g46] God's decision. Going to Egypt, Moses punished 
Egypt with ten blows [plagues], in exchange for the 10 trials of Abraham and the 124 
years that the Israelites were tormented. 

[The word] Egypt translates as "iron furnace." [Egypt] was originally built up by 
Mizraim, son of Kush, son of Canaan, and called Msr after his name. Subsequently it 
was called Aria, after Ariane. And then King Rameses named it Egypt after the Nile 
River which [then] had that name, [and] is self- generating. Now the name of the 
monarch with whom Moses battled was P'le'sios [or, P'e'sios], although others call him 
Kanak'aris. 

When the Egyptians drank blood [instead of water], they became disgusted and went to 
Gesem to request water. Yet as soon as [the water] was given, it turned into blood. Then 
they tried to take the water into their mouths from the lips of the the Israelites, but it 
turned to blood as they swallowed it. Similarly, nothing could dispell the darkness that 
settled upon them, neither fire nor torch. And they vomited [g47] from breathing in the 
heavy thick air. While the first-born of the Egyptians were thus dying, some 600,000 of 
the sons of Israel from the age of 21 to 60 years of age, departed. This [Exodus] 
occurred in the year 3842 of Adam's expulsion [from Paradise], on a Wednesday, and 
[the Jews] crossed through the [Red] Sea on a Sunday. 

When Moses cast his wand upon that sea, he said: "Aia, my God, [before me]." And 



[extending his right hand, he said:] "Sheraya, my God, You brought us out." And 
extending his left hand, he said: "Adonoi, the Lord God, is with us." Thus, having made 
the sign of the cross, he opened up a new path for them not only a dry route [through the 
Red Sea], but an extremely broad and green one over which the twelve tribes of the 
Israelites passed with their baggage. 

First went the clan of Benjamin, followed by the clan of Levi, then Judah and the others. 
Thenceforth they were called the Hebrews, and, abandoning Egyptian, they were given a 
new language, similar to the paternal language which they presently speak. And, with that 
they sang "Let us bless the Lord, for He is glorified." 

Then Pharaoh [and his troops] entered [g48] the waters, pursuing them, but [they were] 
drowned, in exchange for the children of the Israelites. The sea cast back a large portion 
of the slain with their weapons on the side of the Israelites, and each one recognized his 
[former] master, buried him, taking the wepons with which they [later] destroyed the 
Amalekites. Similarly, on the other side [of the Red Sea] the Ethiopians, who had come 
from the River Ganges, took the corpses thrown back by the sea. And thus were the 
words of the Psalm fulfilled: "They will sustain the Ethiopians." 

In this period, Heracles appeared in Phoenica, as did the story about the discovery of the 
grape vine by Dionysius, rather than by the Selovmats'ik' (?) 

Also in this period, the court [in Athens] was called the Areopagite. Now after the 
Israelites left Egypt, the ground shook for 7 months, such that people were unable to stay 
in their houses. And they say that those Egyptians who were spared the drowning of 
Pharaoh reasoned that they had been saved by their [images of] gods, which were made 
by [human] hands. In this year, which was the 80th year of Moses, the Amalekites, the 
offspring of Isau's concubines, were defeated, and thus [the Israelites] avenged their 
ancestors. In the same year [g49], in the second month, Moses ascended that dusky 
mountain to the Lord. 

Apolimos, the Hebrew philosopher, says that first Moses, by the grace of God, created 
an alphabet for the new language which [the Israelites] had received, and that 50 days 
later God gave Moses the tablets [containing the Ten Commandments] written in those 
letters. Moses first wrote the book of Exodus [the events of which] he had seen and was 
familiar with. Then he asked God: "How can I write fully of [the events of] Your 
creation which I did not witness?" To accomplish this, God, in a manner unknowable and 
intangible, for 40 days showed [Moses] the world and made [its past] known to him. 
And He ordered that it be made in 7 months, arranged in the shape of the Tabernacle , 
after the 7 days of creation. 



Subsequently Moses wrote Genesis with the three other books [of the Torah]. At the 
beginning of the second year from the Exodus, the Tabernacle was erected. From this 
[act] the life of Paradise, without labor or pain returned. God had wanted to deliver them 
to this Promised Land in less time, in just 40 days after they had spied out the country 
[but] it was in the second year from the Exodus that they erected the Tabernacle. But 
since they cursed the land that God had blessed and which had been blessed by the 
footsteps of Abraham [g50], He gave them a year for each day, making them wait 40 
years. Moses himself did not go into that [Promised] Land, because he had doubted and 
had angrily struck the rock while he mourned for his sister, Miriam. 

Six years after the Exodus of the Israelites, Cronos ruled as king over the Athenians. 
That land was called Attica, after his daughter. He also ruled the land in Asia Minor 
called Cappadocia, named after Cecrops, which originally was called Alie. In the 20th 
year of Moses' rule, [a king] named Egyptus ruled in Egypt for 68 years, and it is said 
that he gave his name to that country. At the same time, they say, the temple to Apollo 
was built in Athens, and named the Areopagus. Now Moses died when he was was 120 
years of age, and that is the beginning of the Jubilee of the Hebrews. The five books of 
Moses had been completed, containing, according to Eusebius, the deeds and history of 
3,708 years. 

Then Joshua, son of Nun, acquired the rod and authority of Moses and led the Israelite 
people for 28 years. In the 6th year of Joshua's rule, Danaus, brother of the Egyptian 
king [g51], killed the 50 sons of his brother with his own 50 daughters. [All were killed] 
with the exception of Lyncus who ruled after [the Pharaoh Egyptus], and [whose body] 
was covered with eyes on all sides. 

In the 1 8th year of Joshua's rule, Phoenix and Cadmus went from Thebes in Egypt to 
Assyria and ruled over Tyre and Sidon. This country was called, after them, Phoenicia 
and the home of Cadmus. [Cadmus] also brought learning to this land, just as Cecrops 
had brought inhabitants from the city of Memphis to Athens thereby inculcating learning 
among the Greeks. [Cecrops] created the Greek alphabet, although others say that 
Cadmus did this. 

Joshua died at 107 years of age. Othniel, the younger brother of Caleb, succeeded him as 
Judge for 40 years. 

Africanus puts [an interval of] 30 years between Joshua and Othniel. The Greeks assign 
50 years to Othniel's judgeship. The Israelites fell into servitude to Kushan — whom 
Othniel slew — for 8 years, and these years are reckoned to him. During his era, [g52] the 
Bithynian cities of Malos, Papos, T'e'oste' [Tasos], Akliste [Kalista], and Maronta were 
built. And [more] cities were built in Sicily. 



In this period Pelops (Palapo's) ruled as king over the Greeks (Arcadians). Greece [in this 
time] also produced the moralist Philiste (P'ilo'tos), who [wrote] about animals and birds. 

Following Othniel, Israel served Eglon, the king of Moab, for 18 years which [period] is 
added to the tenure of Ehud of Ephraim, who was Judge in Israel for 80 years. 

Akadmon city [Lacedomonia?] was built in his time by Gadamos [Cadmus?]. In his 8th 
year, Ark'iat'os ruled in Athens; in his 20th year, Lambaridus ruled over the Assyrians for 
32 years, and he built the city of Baghakse'. At this point, the 4th epoch, which is 4,000 
years, was completed. From Adam to Moses, 25 [or, 28] generations are reckoned. 
Thereafter, reckoning is not by generation but by the the names of the Judges. After 
Ehud, [the Israelites] served foreigners for 20 years. Then Samegar grew mighty and 
killed 600 Philistine men with the [handle of a] plough. Then Barak, with Deborah, ruled 
for 40 years [a period] [g53] which is reckoned as [part of] the period of servitude to 
foreigners. During this time in Athens, Ion became commander-in-chief of the Greeks, 
[also] called Ionians. And in Libya, the city of Cyrene was built. The Argive kings ended 
their rule. We have not provided any of their names. Sicyon ruled over the Sicyonians 
who took his name, though they were previously called Egialians. In the 1 7th year of 
Barak, Troy (Ilium) was founded by Ilus, and Sparta, being surrounded on all sides by 
enemies, took the name of Sparta, which means "collecting of seeds." 

In the days of Barak, Sisara, the general of Jabin, came was was defeated. Jahel, wife of 
Haber, one of the fathers-in-law of Moses, killed him by slitting his throat. In this period 
on one night, 100 wise men in Rome observed the very same vision: seven suns. This 
was explained by the wise Sibyl as reflecting the seven kings of seven epochs, the sixth 
being Christ whose rays hid all the others. 

Then Medon ruled over the Africans. Panaros ruled over the Assyrians for 44 years. 
After Barak [g54], the Midianites ruled over Israel for 7 years. Then Gideon arose and 
destroyed 120,000 of them and was Judge in Israel for 40 years, the time of the foreign 
[domination] being reckoned to Gideon's tenure. 

It was in this period that there appeared the craftsman Daedalus, whose statues seemed to 
move since he was the first to separate the two feet; previously [statues had been carved] 
with the legs together. In the 1 1th year of Gideon the city of Cyzica was built, and the 
city of Tyre was built 240 years before the Temple at Jerusalem, as Josephus states. 

In Gideon's day lived Orpheus of Thrace, Linus, the priest of Heracles, and Thamyris 
[the son] of Philammon. In the 33rd year of Gideon, Susramos ruled over the Assyrians, 
19 years; and the musician Apollo ruled in Thebes. It is said that he was able to move 
rocks with his playing. 



Abimelech, the concubine's son, slaughtered Gideon's 70 sons and ruled Israel for 3 
years. He was followed by Tola, who was Judge in Israel for 23 years. In this period 
there appeared the terrible woman Sophist Hydra whom [g55] Plato wrote about. And 
Heracles ravaged Troy (Ilium) and slew Antaeus who was said to have been born of 
Earth. Theseus ruled the Athenians as king for 28 years. Mithreus ruled the Assyrians. 

In the 2 1 st year of Tola, Tarsus in Cilicia was built by Perseus (Brisos) , son of Danae. 
The foundation of Carthage (Karkedon) and the taking of Troy date from this period. 

After Tola, Jair the Gileadite was Judge for 23 years. In his 6th year Tutlus ruled over the 
Assyrians, 3 1 years. The Greeks call him Titonis and that it was he who captured the city 
of Troy. In his 16th year, Most'os (Menthos?) ruled over the Athenians, 23 years. Before 
him, Theseus had gathered up the dispersed and established ostracism as a death 
sentence. 

The musician Philon (Philammon?) appeared during this period. It was he who 
introduced choirs. 

Now after Jair the sons of Israel served foreigners for 8 years, or for 1 8 years as others 
put it, including earlier years with this total [g56]. 

Jephthah [was Judge] for 6 years. 

Some say that it was at this point that Menelaus ruled Lacedemon [Sparta] as king. Ibzan 
was Judge in Israel for 5 [or, 7] years. Some say that during this time Alexander 
kidnapped Helen and [caused] the 10-year Trojan War because of jealousy. And 
Heracles, wounded by a sword, burned himself in fire. Following Ibzan, the Hebrew text 
[of the Bible] mentions a Judge Elon, for 10 years. However the Septuagint does not 
mention him. 

Then Abdon [was Judge] for 7 years. The Latins, called Romans, [began] to rule at this 
time. Their first king was named Aeneas. After Abdon the children of Israel served the 
Philistines for 40 years. Samson arose to deliver Israel [and ruled for] 20 years. 

The story of Ruth unfolded during the 7th year of [Samson's] reign. Tote'me'os ruled the 
Assyrians for 40 years. In the 19th year of Samson, Zeus [Zeuxippe?] died and was 
buried in Crete. They say that he lived for 880 years and that because of his long life he 
was called Zeus, after the star [g57], even though his parents had named him Dios. The 
Lydians were the first to cover the sea with their ships, 92 years. Eight years after the 
capture of Troy, the Latins or Romans reigned. Subsequently they were called the 
Pagans. 



They say that Samson worked his feats as Heracles. The Hebrew [editions] puts 
Samson's rule at 40 years, while the Septuagint has 20 years. John the Historian records 
yet another Judge after Samson, named Samegar, and gives him a tenure of 40 years. 
Africanus, however, says that for 40 years there was untroubled peace, and no Judge 
[during that time]. 

The priest Eli was Judge in Israel for 20 years according to the Septuagint, while the 
Syriac [edition] says 40 years, and that Eli's total lifespan was 78 years, 38 of which were 
as Judge. In the 18th year of his tenure Samuel was born and in the 21st year, he was 
presented into the Temple. In this period Troy was renewed by Hector's sons; and the 
Amazons burned down the temple as Ephesus; and the Sicyonians ended their kingship 
and priests took over the rule [g58] until the time of the priest Charitos. The latter, 
unable to bear the expenses, took to flight. [In this period] the Athenians gave the 
kingship to a foreign clan, because Melanthos defeated the successor of Thymoetes by a 
ruse. And because of this, they instituted a festival of deceivers. 

After Eli's death, the ark remained in the house of Adedar [or, Aminadab] for 20 years. 
Once again, foreigner ruled. Then, according to the Hebrew [version] Samuel was Judge 
for 40 years. 

Now in the 20th year of [Samuel]'s tenure, they requested a monarch of their own, and 
thus the period of the Judges came to an end, and the period of the Kings began. 
However, the reign of Saul is reckoned as belonging to that of Samuelf's tenure as 
Judge]. Saul ruled for 40 years. In the second year of his reign, he destroyed the 
Amalekites. 

In the 10th year of his kingship David was born, and in the 23rd year of his kingship 
David was anointed. At 28 years of age, David slew Goliath. In the 31st [g59] year of his 
reign, Saul delivered a wicked prophecy to Naioth in Ramah [disclosing] that David 
would be king. Samuel died in David's 30th year, and 7 years after Samuel's death Saul 
and Jonathan were killed, and David was king in Hebron for 7 years. He captured 
Jerusalem, built Zion, and ruled there for 33 years. In the 10th year of his rule he 
removed the ark from the house of Abedar [or, Aminadab], but en route Hosea was 
struck dead since he wanted to restrict the grace of God that was in that ark to his 
beloved Adam. As the blessed John of Edessa informs us, he had fallen on his grave just 
as agitated mourners do. However, others ascribe a different reason [for his death]. In 
this period the chief priest was Abidar [Aminadab], and the prophets were Dan [or, Gad] 
and Asaph. Nathan, who protected David, was always with him. But when Nathan was 
in Gabawon, the sins of David in Bathseba, were revealed to him. And [Nathan] went to 
save him. But while he was travelling there, he encountered a dead person whose funeral 
delayed him [g60]. [During this delay, David] committed adultery and [Nathan] turned 



back in sorrow. When Uriah was slain, [Nathan] confronted David with both of these 
evil crimes. [David] then repented and [Nathan] offered him the hope of forgiveness. As 
proof of this, he made the death of Bathseba's eldest son a sign. Then David, in fear of 
the Lord, did penance all the days of his life. 

During David's reign, Carthage was built by Carthagon of Tyr. Samos also was built [in 
this period]. In the 39th year of his kingship, David selected 288 people from the Levites 
organizing them into 24 choirs of 12 men each to sing psalms and to serve the ark. 
Throughout his reign he warred against the foreigners with great success. After living for 
70 years, 40 years of which ruling as king, [David] died. 

Then Solomon his son ruled for 40 years, beginning his reign at age 12. In his first year 
he fathered a son, Rehoboam, by the Ammonite woman Naamah. In the 4th year of his 
reign he began constructing the Temple, which he finished in 8 years, in the 48 1 st year of 
the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt [g61]. 

The blessed Paul said that for 450 years, until the time of the prophet Samuel, God gave 
them Judges. According to this [calculation] there are 50 years additional. However, this 
error stems from [a miscalculation] of the time [the Israelites were] in servitude to 
foreigners. 

In the 30th year of his reign, Solomon turned away from God and built idol houses for 
the Moabite Chamos and the Ammonite Moloch, as well as one for the Greek goddess 
Aphrodite. The height of the temples was 30 cubits and the width was 50 [cubits]. The 
Amonite temple was built in 1 3 years, and the Moabite temple, in 7 years, with an 
incalculable amount of gold and other expenses. He also fashioned a "sea" of brass with 
bulls underneath it, in imitation of the temple of the Lord. He pulled down the city of 
Antioch and built the seven cities of T'e'tiwr near Hems, Malu, He'sur, Maktur, Gazare', 
upper and lower Beddur, and Be'le'o'f, the eighth. In this period Hadad, Solomon's 
adversary, ruled in Damascus 

In [Solomon's] reign the prophet Achia saw [a vision in which] [g62] yoked cattle were 
trampling Jerusalem, the Temple, and the priesthood. And [Achia] told Solomon: "Your 
foreign women are distancing you from God" — as in fact happened. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 4 

The Queen [ofSheba] Visits Solomon. 



To [King Solomon] came Nessa, the queen of a southern relam, [who was] said to be 
descended from the line of Noah's daughter, Aster. [She came] from a place in the south 
where, to this day, women descended from the patriarch Noah rule. [Solomon]'s 
reputation for wisdom attracted her and she tested him with enigmatic questions, some of 
which we have provided here. 

1 . The first question concerns the nature of God. "What is your God, and who does He 
resemble?" 

Solomon replied: "My God Is, and is above all beings. He has no [fixed] image. Every 
being has its opposite [g63]. However, my God, since He is not created, has no opposite. 

2. "How does the celestial globe turn, right to left, fully or partly?" 

"This turning is done in two ways. The heavenly circumference turns to the right and to 
the East, then through the South and West, and the North, returning to its point of 
departure. By the same order, it goes around in a day and a night with all the fixed stars. 
As for the planets, which some call wandering stars, they move left from West to East, 
each according to the low or high position of its zone, according to the narrowness or 
breadth of that zone, achieving a revolution in 30 years as well as 30 days. For Cronos is 
Saturn, while Sahra is the Moon." 

3. "Before there was Being, where was the creator of all, and after the dissolution [of 
everything], where will He be?" 

"Before the creation of all, was the Lord Himself and His being was full of its essence. 
He enjoyed endless [g64] goodness. Since the creation [of the world], it is in Him that 
created beings exist. After the dissolution of the world, He also will continue to exist in 
Himself and in the souls of saints, and they reside in Him. He adds to their glory and He 



will be further glorified by them." 

4. "Why is it that an Indian woman who eats pomegranate ceases to conceive?" 

"The nature of the pomegranate is cold and wet and the country of India is hot and dry. 
The Indian woman is cool and moist. Consequently, when elements of the pomegranate 
and the woman merge, contrary to the nature of the country, then women no longer can 
become pregnant." 

5. "Why does an Indian man become sterile after drinking wine?" 

"The nature of the wine is dry and hot, and it induces sleep. The same may be said for 
[the nature of] mankind. Thus when a man drinks often, he become impotent." 

6. "Is wisdom general or specific? Does it come from nature, from study, or as a 
blessing?" 

"Wisdom is general in genre, partial in type, natural as regards animate beings, trees, and 
plants. The situation with humankind is mixed. It may be attained through study, [g65] as 
one labors to understand something; or it may be a blessing of grace from God. This 
latter type is not given to all but only to those selected as worthy of it." 

Question: "What was the plant which was crowned not by nature but surrounded by a 
halo of rays and nurtured by flames which were woven into garlands for undeserving 
sons?" 

Answer: "Surely you have heard that God appeared to Moses as a burning blackberry 
bush, and that that visitation stimulated questions and answers." 

Question: "Identify the foreign mother, the sons born in prostitution, and nourished in 
impiety, revealed as thieves, and kings living in plenty." 

Answer: "You insult my fathers and myself. Tamar was considered a murderer who 
nourished my ancestors after they had been stolen from Judah." 

Question: "Name the thing which is repulsive and nauseating, which is transformed by 
the clouds and nourishes kings." 

Answer: "You refer to menstruating women who nourish kings and paupers [when 
babies,] through [the milk of] their breasts (?)." [g66] 

Riddle: "What is the diner who, seeking different tastes, increases the number of cooks, 
yet receives only the same flavor?" 



Answer: "If you have an excellent cook, let us add him to the thousands we have; 
however, as you say, there is but one [excellent] taste. But should there be one wicked 
chef, opposed to Our Lord, then the bitter taste will remain until Judgement day." 

Riddle: "The bridegroom is invisible, and the nuptial is unchangeable. The bedchamber is 
pure; but the spouse full of rage brings a great shame to the matter." 

Answer: "Do not insult our people which is forever wedded to God with unspoken 
words. Nor do we bear the shame of prostituting ourselves to foreign gods. It is fitting 
that you worship a bird called T'riane, the phoenix. But now, answer a riddle from me." 

"There is a formidable tower, with lethal weapons, and a three-sided temple, whose rocks 
are joy, whose foundation is love, whose construction is water, the start of whose 
deliverance is caresses, whose ceilings are dance, whose columns are enjoyment, whose 
discovery is strange [g67], whose residents are not persons. Pursuit of it is in vain, its 
turrets spring from within itself, its windows are isolated, the instruments are contrary to 
its construction, and its guards are invisible." 

And the Queen replied: "We heard that you were wise, but did not believe that you were 
prescient. Now we know that your God is the sole God of the visible and the invisible". 
The Queen then praised the construction of the Temple and its attendants who were 
divided into 12 classes to serve before the Lord each month. Each class had 24,000 
people in it, with 6,000 judges and 4,000 harpists, and 4,000 porters, [an arrangement] 
which his father David had designated. The dimensions of the Temple were: 60 cubits 
long by 20 cubits wide and 120 cubits high. It had 10 gold tables [or, altars] and 10 gold 
towers. Outside, to the right and left were two columns of 37 cubits height which were 
named Bsogh and Yak'um, meaning "Strength" and "Righteousness." The Holy of Holies 
was 20 cubits wide and 20 cubits high, which greatly astonished the Queen [g68]. And 
she departed from him greatly edified. 

Solomon subsequently repented for his sins. Recalling his father's command, he entered 
a room and expiated. [Solomon] died at the age of 52, having ruled for 40 years. 

His son, Rehoboam, succeeded him and ruled for 1 7 years. The ten tribes then divided 
[from the twelve], designating as their king Jeroboam, son of Nebat from the tribe of 
Ephraim. Judah and Benjamin were under Rehoboam and were called Judaeans while 
the ten tribes were called Israel and Ephraim. 

In this times the prophets were Sadoc and Ahias the Silonite and Semeias. And the 
philosophers were Homer and Hesiod, which some list before the others mentioned. 

Now the chief priest was Sadoc from the line of Eliazar, who was the eighth [priest] after 



Aaron. In the 18th year of Jeroboam, Shishak (So'sak), the king of Egypt, came against 
Jerusalem, robbed the Temple of the Lord, and left. 

Following Jeroboam, his son, Abijah, ruled for three years. And after him, his son, [g69] 
Asa, ruled for 4 1 years. Israel was ruled for 22 years by Rehoboam, followed by his son, 
Nadab, for 2 years, followed by Baasha for 24 years. 

During the days of Asa and Baasha, the chief priest was Abimelech, from the line of 
Ithamar, while the prophets were Achias, Semeias, Joel , and Azarias who was also 
called Addon, and Joah, who some call Zachariah, who reprimanded Jeroboam. 
Epiphanius says that this prophet was also called Jud, and that a lion killed him. 

In the 1 7th year of his reign, Asa burned all the idols found in Jerusalem, and removed 
his mother from [the dignity of] the queenship, because she worshipped Astaroth. 

In [Asa's] 29th year, Elah ruled as king of Israel for 2 years. His servant, Zimri, murdered 
him and reigned for 7 days. But he was overthrown by two men, Omri and Tibni. Omri 
managed to rule for 12 years. He purchased the mountain called Shamrin from Shamir, 
and built there a city called Shamrin after its lord. [The city] subsequently was called 
Sebastia, and presently, Mamluz (Nablus). 

As concerns Tibni, he set fire to the royal palace [g70] in Samaria, and died in the blaze. 
In the 41st year of Asia, Pharchiris [Nephercheris] ruled in Egypt. 

After Asa his son, Jehoshaphat, ruled for 29 years. In his second year, Omri's son, Ahab, 
ruled Israel for 23 years. He married Jezebel, the daugther of flt't'il [Ethbaal], king of Sur 
[Tyre] and Sada [Sidon], and built Jericho, which Joshua cursed. His first-born son, 
Abiram, died when the construction began; his youngest, Shaw [Segub], died when the 
gates were installed. Others say that Jericho was built by Azan [Hiel?] from Bethel and 
was the father of those sons [of Abiram] and of Shaw, called Zerdzel. 

In the second year of Jehoshaphat, the Latins were ruled by Carpantus [who ruled] for 
13 years. In his fourth year, Amcalus ruled over the Athenians. In the same year, 
Urbantios ruled over the Assyrians for 50 years. In his 13th year Isacarus ruled over the 
Egyptians for 6 years. In his 23rd [or, 29th] year, Agrippa ruled over the Latins for 41 
years. In his 49th year, Israel was ruled by [g71] Ochochias for one year. His brother, 
Joram, succeeded him for 12 years. That same year, Joram ruled over Judah for 8 years. 
After him, Ochosias ruled for one year and was replaced by his mother for 7 years. In 
Joram's 7th year, Elijah ascended [into heaven]. 

Now Athaliah, Joram's wife, was the sister of Ahab. And God slew Joram because he 
had slain his brothers and because he had increased his wickedness by marrying Athaliah, 



who was an idol- worshipper. Some say that she was the daughter of Jezebel. And he sent 
Elisha to annoint Jehu, son of Amchia, as king of Israel. [Jehu] killed Joram, son of 
Ahaziah, Ochochias, son of Joram, the 72 children of Ahab, and Jezebel, Ahab's wife 17 
years later. 

The priest Jehoiada killed Athaliah and enthroned the six-year-old Joas, who ruled for 40 
years over Judah. Jehoiada was the last man after Moses to live 130 years. His son, 
Azariah, was prophet. Jehu ruled for 28 years and was succeeded by Jehoahaz who ruled 
for 17 years [g72]. 

Joas in his 30th year killed the prophet Azariah. In his 37th year, the prophet Elisha died. 

In that period the Assyrians were ruled by Acropanis for 42 years. Egypt was ruled by 
Euchinus (Ewk'inos). The Latins were ruled by Romulus who, for his pride, was burned 
together with his own palace because of the wrath of the Lord. 

In the 3 1st year of Joas, the judge of the Athenians was Babacles, for 19 years. In his 
40th year, Joas was slain by his servants because, after the death of Joyada, he had 
deviated from the Lord and killed [Joyadaj's son, who was both prophet and priest. 

And Amaziah, son of Joas, ruled over Judah for 29 years. With God ['s help] he defeated 
the Edomites, brought their gods to Jerusalem and served them. In his 1 0th year Jovas 
ruled over Israel for 16 years. Ruling over the Latins was Arinus, 45 years. Ruling Egypt 
was Estros, 16 years. During this period [g73], Ariphon was judge of the Athenians for 
20 years. 

In the 19th year of Amaziah, the Assyrians were ruled by Tonos Kozeros, called Sardani 
[Sardanapalus] by the Greeks, 20 years. In his day the prophet Jonan preached, and [the 
king] repented and returned to fear of the Lord. After the deliverance of Assyria, which 
is Nineveh, [Sardanapalus] warred against Ark'ake'k [Arbak/Varbak] the Mede or Mar. 
And when he saw that he had been defeated by the Medes, he immolated himself and 
thus ended the Assyrian kingdom, which had endured for 1,196 years. Counting from 
the overthrow of the Chaldean or Babylonian kingdom, from the first year of Belus, son 
of Ninus, [the figure is] 1,300 years. Varbak the Mede, with assistance from the 
Armenians, overthrew the rule of the Assyrians and replaced it with that of the Medes. 
Following the death of Varbak, a certain P'ul [Belesis] rebelled and ruled in Nineveh, 
which was previously called Ashur. Nineveh had been so named after Ninus. P'ul, who 
rebelled and called himself king; Shalmaneser, [and Tiglath-Pileser, and] Sennacherib 
(Senekerim), [were] kings who enslaved Israel [g74]. 

The aforementioned are recalled in the Bible as rulers of Mesopotamia, Cappadocia, 
Cilicia, and the Philippeans. [Also] among [the rulers] are Nakos, Nakubulos, 



Nabopolassar, and Nebuchadrezzar. The period from the time of P'ul until Alexander of 
Macedon is reckoned to be 424 years. After the death of Alexander [ruled] Seleucus, 
Antiochus, Kilikos [Seleucus Callinicus] who built Cilicia [Seleucia], Syros, who built 
Syria, which the Chaldeans call Asorik'. 

In the 1 8th year of Amaziah, Jeroboam ruled over Israel, 40 years. In Egypt, Toulouthis 
[ruled], 13 years. Now some say that Joas, king of Israel, killed Amaziah, king of Judah, 
because he had gone to war against him. After the death of Amaziah, the Israelites came 
and demolished 400 fathoms of the wall around Jerusalem. Then they took gold and 
silver which was in the house of the Lord and in the palace and returned to Samaria. 

Amaziah was buried in Jerusalem, and his son Azaria reigned for 52 years. 

In the first year of Azaria, also called Uzziah [g75], Thaspios (Thesbios) was judge in 
Athens, 27 years. Isis ruled in Egypt. In the 10th year of Uzziah, Phrycos (Procas) ruled 
over the Latins. In the 28th year of Uzziah, Acmasar became judge in Athens. In the 
29th year of Uzziah, Zechariah ruled over Israel, 6 months. He was followed by 
Shallum, one month, and Menahem, 10 years. 

Now in the 24th year of his reign, Uzziah [tried to] offer incense in the Temple of the 
Lord, and became covered with leprosy. And the Lord, because of Uzziah' s sins, 
prevented Isaiah from prophesying. The period of his silence was 28 years, until the 
death of Uzziah, and then he resumed prophesying for 61 years. Prior to his silence he 
had prophesied for 24 years, thus the total was 87 years. In the 33rd year of Uzziah, 
Basmos (Thasmus) ruled in Egypt, 10 years. In the 34th year of Uzziah, P'ul, king of the 
Chaldeans, came against Samaria. He took 1000 talents of gold from Menahem, and 
departed. 

In the 40th year of Uzziah [g76], Pake'e' [Pekahiah/Pekah?] ruled over Israel, 10 years. 
In the 4 1 st year of Uzziah, Kawos (Coenus) ruled over the Macedonians as the second 
king, 12 years. Tiglath-Pileser ruled Nineveh, 37 years. In the 46th year of Uzziah, Kuk'r 
(Bocchoris) ruled Egypt, 44 years. In the 48th year of Uzziah, Tiglath-Pileser arose 
against Israel and captured the greater part of the ten tribes whose names are: Abe'l 
(Inabel), Bot'mak' (Bethmach), Enok' (Henoc), Kants, Esur (Kandzessur), Geghat' 
(Kellaath), Gawt'i (Kanthi), and the entire legacy of the Nephthali. 

Now when Uzziah died, glory returned to the Temple of the Lord, the glory which had 
departed when he had offered incense. Then did Uzziah's son, Jotham (Yovat'am) rule 
for 1 6 years, righteous before the Lord. And he subdued the Amonites. 

In the third year of Jotham, Dunimos (Tyrimmas) ruled over the Macedonians, 38 years. 
They have the same origin as the Armenians. The poet Porphyry [appeared at this time] 



[g77]. 

In these times too lived the prophets Isaiah, Amos, Hosea, and Jonah. Kuk'r (Bocchoris), 
king of Egypt, established laws; and it was during his reign, they say, that a lamb spoke. 
It was in this period also that the Lydian kingdom began. 

After Jotham, his son, Ahaz, ruled for 1 6 years, during which he worked evil before the 
Lord. Pake'e', the king of Israel, allied with Hr'ason (Rasin), the king of Damascus, and 
they invaded Jerusalem where they killed 120,000 men. Now Ahaz sent and hired 
[mercenaries from] Tiglath-[Pileser], then came to Damascus, killed Hr'ason, enslaved 
the Edomites, and departed. 

In the second year of Ahaz, Hosea rebelled and killed Pekah and ruled over Israel for 9 
years. In the 8th year of Ahaz, Shalmaneser ruled over Nineveh for 14 years. He came 
against Israel, made it tributary, took captives, and departed. 

Now Hosea sent to Abimelech the Kushite for him to come to his aid. But Shalmaneser, 
apprised of this, came against Samaria in the in the 7th year of the reign of Hosea and 
the 8th year of the reign of Ahaz. [Shalmaneser] besieged it [g78] for three years, 
captured it, took the ten clans captive, and took them to Babylon. And he ended the 
kingdom of Israel which had endured for 250 years. This was in the 4,330th year of 
Adam. 

In this period E'sk'oghos was the magistrate in Athens, and during his tenure the akon , a 
sporting competition called the Olympiad, was established by which the Hellenes 
reckoned their dates. This was devised by one Iphitus who had received the command 
from Heracles to defuse fierce warfare. "Stop fighting," he said, "until the end of the 
year and [during that time] let each man display his strength and talents and be crowned 
winner accordingly." Eusebius, however, relying on Africanus, places [the beginning of 
the Olympiads] during the time of King Jotham. These competitons were held every fifth 
year, at the end of the fourth year, or at the beginning in a leap-year. 

Shalmaneser settled the Israelite captives in the mountains of Media, and sent Assyrians 
to live in Samaria in their place, as the name suggests. The prophets of this period were 
Isaiah and Hosea. Aristotle appeared in Macedonia as ephor. 

After the death of Ahaz [g79], his son, Hezekiah ruled for 29 years. In this period, 
Romulus ruled over the Latins and built Rome which was named after him — or, 
according to others, it was named after his daughter, Rome'. To this point, during the 
reigns of 1 7 kings, [the inhabitants of the city] were called Latins, thereafter, Romans. 

In these times the island of Rhodes, whose mountains were covered with xx, was built 



up. Similarly, the cities of Salinos in Sicily, Cyzica in Bithynia, Trapesus (Trap'or) in 
Pontus, as well as Colonia (Kalawnoyn) and Lucania (Liwkia) in Italy were built. This 
was the time that the kingdom of the Lacedaemonians [Spartans], which endured for 340 
years, started. Its first monarch was Abios. In Rome, 24 temples were built, 324 streets, 
80 golden idols, 64 images of ivory, 46,000 houses, 1,795 princely dwellings, 1,352 
aqueducts, 2074 bakeries, 3,785 bronze talismans [g80], and two areopagi. The 
circumference of the city is 40 miles, and each of the four sides has 12 miles inside. A 
mile corresponds to 12 acres, the length of a path drawn by a pair of oxen. The residents, 
numbering 120,000, grew to 160,000 individuals in the second census, 270,000 in the 
third, and 4,160,000 in the fourth. During the reign of Claudius, there were 6,940,000 
residents. 

Lions devoured the Samaritans. Shalmaneser sent them a priest named Ezra who came 
and taught them the laws according to the five books of Moses. Thus the Samaritans 
accept only those books, and their prophesies. 

Now Hezekiah lived in fear of God and behaved righteously in the eyes of the Lord. And 
he cleansed Jerusalem of idols. For, although his father lived in wickedness, his mother, 
Abiud, the virtuous daughter of Zechariah, raised [Hezekiah] in the ways of piety. It was 
[due to] Abiud that [he] smashed the bronze snake [idol] which the Jews worshipped. In 
the 6th year of the reign of Hezekiah [g81], Sennacherib ruled over the Assyrians. 
Having gone against Jerusalem, he learned that Bark'ot'a, king of Ethiopia, was coming 
against him and so he turned back to Nineveh. Then he sent his troops back to Jerusalem 
where 180,000 soldiers were killed by the angel of God. For Hezekiah, in his 
righteousness, beseeched God. 

In this period in Sicily the city of K'er'eneson was built. Sennacherib, in the 9th year of 
his reign, killed many of the [Jewish] captives and left their unburied corpses to the dogs, 
in order to avenge his troops [killed] in Jerusalem. And his sons, Sanasar and Abia, 
assassinated him while he was [praying] in his idol-house, and then they fled to Armenia. 

Esarhaddon (Asurdan), his other son, succeeded [Sennacherib] for 3 years. He, in turn, 
was succeeded by his brother, Assurbanipal (Beldan), for 7 years. In the 18th year of his 
reign, Beldan sent gifts to Hezekiah, believing that the sun's emergence from eclipse was 
due to him. Moreover, this Beldan saw to it that the power of the name of the true God 
be preached throughout all of Assyria and Babylon. And he erected images of the True 
God, and [g82] altars, and made sacrifice to Him, and worshipped Him and ordered his 
own to do the same. He commanded that people should not worship the sun, which was 
only subject to nature, but its Mover. Moreover, he removed many of the Jews from 
prison and had them dine with him [using] golden tableware, and dressing them in 
splendid robes. In the 20th year of Hezekiah, Archos (Trak'os) the Indian ruled, 20 years; 



and Kartakos ruled the Medes, 13 years. 

Following Hezekiah, his son Manasseh ruled for 55 years. He did not follow in his 
father's footsteps, for in the third year of his reign he killed the prophet Isaiah with a saw. 
Furthermore he shed much blood of righteous folk in Jerusalem, and he was thus 
abandoned by God. When he went on a raid to Syria, God betrayed him into the hands 
of his enemies who seized him and took him to Assyria. There, he was bound in painful 
bonds and thrown into a very deep well. Then did his soul bring him to repent and to see 
the justice of the Lord, and he repented with tears and recited solemn prayers of 
contrition. And God accepted his regrets and had him released free [of tribute]. And thus 
he returned to Jerusalem [g83] in the 34th year of his reign. 

Then the prophet Isaiah was buried in Siloam (Selov) where the people had gone during 
the besiegement of the Assyrians to seek water. Yet, the waters had ceased when the 
foreigners had come, during the reigns of Ahaz and Hezekiah. But to honor Isaiah's 
grave, God sent the gift of healing waters [again], as the Apostle says. 

In the 33rd year of Manasseh, Stephinatris (Tep'ant'os) ruled in Egypt, 26 years. In the 
36th year of Manasseh, Sennacherib the Younger ruled, 37 years. 

In Manasseh's 40th year, Taclius ruled over the Romans, 33 years. It was he who 
established the imperial dress of purple and the gold scepter. Some call him Tullus. 

In Manasseh's day Numa Pompilius added two months to the Roman year, which 
previously had ten months, by adding January and February. And Nicomedia was built 
up, which previously had been called Astacos; and Ecbatana was built by Deioces 
(Diokesare') [g84]. Glaucus discovered how to solder iron. 

The king of the Phrygians drank bull's blood and died. The city of Carthage (Kark'edon) 
was founded. In the 40th (or, 44th) year of Manasseh, Psammeticus ruled in Egypt, 45 
years. The Athenians ceased having monarchs and magistrates. Byzantium was founded 
by Prince Byzas, and 970 (or, 979) years later Constantine enlarged it. 

Manasseh was succeeded by his son Amon, who ruled Judah for 12 years. In the third 
year of his reign, Phraortes (Braktos) ruled the Medes, 24 years; and in his 12th year, 
Nabopalasar ruled the Assyrians, 33 years. He was a powerful Mage. In this period 
Philip ruled the Macedonians, 38 years. 

In the third year of Amon's reign Josiah was born. Now Amon worshipped the idols and 
was slain by his servants, having lived a total of 42 (or, 24) years [g85]. 

Josiah, Amon's son, ruled in Jerusalem for 3 1 years. He was righteous before the Lord, 



and had four sons: Yovhanne's, Yovakim, Yovak'az, and Matt'ani. Sop'ania, of the line of 
Shmavon, prophesied then. 

In the 1 Oth year of Josiah, Ancus Marcius (Marcus Anicus) ruled in Rome, 24 years. In 
his 13th year, Jeremiah began to prophesy. In his 16th year, Olda (Oghdi), wife of a 
priest, prophesied. The priest Hilkiah, Jeremiah's father, found the book of laws which 
had been lost. 

Josiah wept before the Lord, and the punishment of 70 years' captivity for Israel was 
delivered. In the 3 1 st year of Josiah, Neco (Nespos Nechavo) ruled in Egypt, 6 years. He 
arose against Syria and Assyria, and, when Josiah went against him, [Nespos] killed him. 
Neco went and took the country of Assyria captive and, after three months, returned to 
Jerusalem. He carried off to Egypt Jehoahaz (Ochosias), who was ruling in Jerusalem, 
and appointed as their king Jehoiakim (Yovakim), brother [g86] of Jehoahaz. He laid a 
tax on Jerusalem of 10 talents of gold and 100 talents of silver, and then departed. 

In the third year of Jehoahaz, Nebuchadrezzar, son of the Chaldean Nabopolasar, ruled 
over the Assyrians, 44 years. In the first year of his reign he arose against Jerusalem and 
seized the vessels from the house of the Lord, as well as Daniel — who was from the 
royal line — and his friends, and took them to Babylon. He built up Babylon and 
transferred the seat of his Assyrian kingdom there. But once again Neco came to the 
Euprates area and wasted Membej [Mabug]. Nebuchadrezzar went against him, killed 
him, and rebuilt Membej, and he transferred the idol of Cainan there. He named 
[Mabug] Hieropolis, that is to say, the city of priests, since he increased the number of 
priests there. 

In the 7th year of Nebuchadrezzar's reign and the 8th year of the reign of Jehoiakim, 
Nebuchadrezzar went to Jerusalem, collected the tax, and departed. In the 1 1th year of 
his reign, Jehoiakim died, and his son Jehoiachin (Ek'onia) was enthroned [g87]. 

Now when Nebuchadrezzar heard about this he came to Jerusalem, in the 8th year of his 
reign. He seized Jehoiachin, and his mother, and the princes whom they had enthroned, 
and he carried them off to Babylon, keeping them captive for 37 years. He established as 
king in Jerusalem Matthani, whose name was changed to Zedekiah. And Nebuchadrezzar 
grew in power, as though aided. For the first time he had gone to Jerusalem, sent by his 
father, he returned triumphantly to find his father dead, and so he became the autocrat. 

In the 4th year of Zedekiah, Astyages (Istakos) ruled over the Medes, 38 years; in the 
1 1th year of Zedekiah, Vaphres (Ep'ros) ruled in Egypt, 25 years. In the same year 
Zedekiah rebelled, and he and all the Jews were taken captive, with the exception of a 
few poor folk who worked in the government. Jerusalem and the Temple were burned 
down. For three years [the city] had endured a siege and a devastating famine. But prior 



to the arrival of the Chaldeans, the prophet Jeremiah, unbeknowst to Zedekiah, had 
secretly taken the Tabernacle of the Lord and concealed it between [mounts] Horeb and 
Sinai. The Temple was burned down by the chief executioner, Nabuzard, [g8 8] in the 
9th year of Nebuchadrezzar's reign. Zedekiah, having been blinded, died on the way to 
Babylon. Some maintain that it was in the 19th year of his reign that Nebuchadrezzar 
came to Jerusalem and captured it and killed Ovakim who had withheld the tribute. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 4 

The Queen [ofSheba] Visits Solomon (continued). 



Now after the destruction of Jerusalem, Nebuchadrezzar went against Tyre, which is Sur. 
The Syrians, after great resistance, were defeated by the Chaldeans. Consequently, they 
gathered up their most precious belongings and cast them into the sea, while what they 
could carry they took with them aboard ships and fled to Carthage. Nebuchadrezzar took 
Sur and demolished it, hurling the stones into the sea. And he took and killed its king, 
Hiram. Thus ended [the city of Tyre] which had endured all of its 500 years as part of 
the kingdom of Judah. Next the Lord gave Egypt into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar as a 
reward for his troops' labor in destroying Sur. Nebuchadrezzar died 25 years after the 
destruction of Jerusalem. Then Balthazar [g89] reigned after him for three years. The 
latter was succeeded by his brother Amel-marduk (Ilmarudak) [Evil-merodach] for three 
years. Others contend that after Nebuchadrezzar, Amel-marduk ruled, and that it was he 
who removed Jehoiachin from prison after 35 years of captivity, and then his brother 
Balthazar reigned. In the first year of Balthazar's reign, Daniel saw a vision of the four 
beasts. Darius the Mede slew Balthazar and seized the Chaldean kingdom. He appointed 
Daniel over all his princes. But because of jealousy, he threw him into the lions' den from 
which the Lord saved him. [Thirty-] three years later, Cyrus the Persian went against 
Babylon, killed Darius, eliminated the kingdom of the Medes and the Chaldeans, and 
attached them to Persia. He tormented the Jews severely during the first year of his reign. 
He heard about Anania and summoned him and ordered [the Jews] to sacrifice. But they 
insulted him, and Cyrus commanded that they be beheaded. Yet after the decapitation, 
their heads rose up and attached themselves to their bodies, an astonishing miracle. Then 
the Lord tormented Cyrus, and he repented after [g90] tormenting Daniel a second time 
by hurling him into a pit from which he survived again. In the second year of his reign, 
Cyrus freed the captives, made Daniel one of his trusted [friends], and moved the seat of 
his kingdom to Babylon. Then Daniel, filled with zeal for God, toppled the idols erected 
to Bel by Belus, and slew the dragon which Cyrus revered. Now the Chaldeans were 
outraged and caused Cyrus to become infuriated. Many historians assert that it was at 
this point that Daniel was cast into a den with seven lions, and Habakkuk brought food to 



him. 

When Daniel finally emerged from the pit safe and sound, the name of God was 
glorified. Habakkuk died that same year. Daniel fasted for 21 days, having heard the 
news that the prophet Jeremiah had delivered about the 70 years' verdict [about captivity 
which] God had imposed. Then he saw a vision about the 70 weeks, and saw a man 
dressed in white by the Tigris River, who said to him: "I fought with the prince of the 
Persians for 21 days in order to return the sons of your nation." And indeed, they 
returned, the first 50,000, and began to [rejbuild the Temple [g91]. 

In the 60th year of the captivity of the Jews, Cyrus was murdered by his wife [Tomyris, 
queen of the] Massagetae (Makaste). [Cyrus] was succeeded by his son Cambyses, who 
ruled for 8 years. The Hebrews say that he was called Nebuchadnezzar. It was he who 
slew Arpsat (Arp'aksad) the Mede. It was in his time that Judith slew Holophernes, who 
was from the line of Magog, that is to say, the Turks. 

Cambyses was succeeded, for 7 years, by two brothers who were Mages. They were 
followed by Darius the Mede, son of Hytaspes (Vshtasp), for 33 [or, 36] years. In the 
second year of his reign there ended the second 70 year captivity [of the Jews] which had 
begun with the burning of the Temple. The first 70 year [captivity] began in the 13th 
year of Josiah and with the date determined by Jeremiah, and ended in the time of Cyrus 
the Persian. From the time of Solomon and the construction of the Temple until the 6th 
year of Darius, 508 years elapsed. In the 15th year of Darius, the 5th century was 
completed. In the 16th year of Darius, the 6th century began. 

In this period there prophesied Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Zerubbabel, son of 
[g92] Shealtiel, son of Jeconias [Jehoiachin], led the [Jewish] captives back. The High 
Priest was Jeshua, son of Jehozadak. Some say that Zedekiah's son, Shealtiel, was born 
in Babylon after his blinding. In this period Chilon, one of the Seven Sages, was ephor in 
Lacaedamon. Similarly Tarquin is said to have invented instruments of torture, prisons, 
and the use of racks and chains [for torture] and commanding [convicts] to work in the 
copper mines. [In these times] Theognis was reconized as a poet. 

After Darius, his son Xerxes ruled for 21 years. In the second year of his reign, he 
captured Egypt, and in the 1 1th year he took and burned Athens. He also conquered 
many cities and lands and 120 districts. It was during his time that the events [described] 
in [the book of] Esther occurred involving Mordecai and Hamam, of the line of the 
Amalekites. But [the historian] John of Asia says that if these events had occured in the 
time of Esther, why did Ezra not write of them? Some maintain that it was under 
[Xerxes] that the return of the Jews took place. After him, Artaban (Artuan) ruled for 7 
months. 



Following [Artaban], Artaxerxes Longimanus ruled for 41 years. In the 7th year of his 
reign [g93], the scribe Ezra went to Jerusalem to help with the construction. Through the 
blessing of the Holy Spirit, he was able to write down the old [Testament]. In the 20th 
year of Artaxerxes, Nehemiah the cup-bearer went to Jerusalem by his order to build the 
walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah accomplished this is 12 years. He also brought the burnt 
ashes [of sacred writings] which had been languishing forgotten in a well. When he 
placed them on the altar, the [sacred] flame lit of its own accord. 

After Artaxerxes (Artashe's), another Artashe's who was styled Xerxes ruled for two 
months. He was followed by Sogdianos (Sekdinos) for 7 months, and he was followed 
by Darius Nothus, the Bastard, for 19 years. In his 15th year Egypt revolted against 
Persia and set up Dionysius as their king, after an interregnum of 124 years. In the 19th 
year of Darius, Orestes (Arianos) ruled the Macedonians, three years. Meantime in 
Rome a frightful war was being waged, since Calorion was fighting the Gauls, and Celtus 
the Galatians. After 100 years of this Rome was defeated and pulled apart, top to 
bottom, excepting [g94] the palace. In the same period there was a severe earthquake, 
and the earth swallowed numerous cities. 

In Persia, Artaxerxes Mnemon ruled for 40 years. During this time the Hebrews lived 
through the events in Esther. In the 17th year [of Mnemon] the autocrat Africanus of 
Rome destroyed Carthage and rebuilt it in his own name. In Egypt, Ephirites (Ump'etris) 
ruled for 6 years. And Archelaus ruled in Macedonia for 8 [or, 16] years, followed by 
Dalamutos (Amutos) again for one year. Then Xetris (Karis) ruled for a year. Then 
Nectanebo (Niktapis) ruled for 18 years. In the 35th year of Artaxerxes, Alexander ruled 
over the Macedonians for a year, followed by Ptolemy for 3 years. 

In the 40th year of Artaxerxes. Dios ruled the Egyptians for 2 years. He was followed by 
Nectanebo for 12 years. Following the death of Artaxerxes Mnemon, another Artaxerxes 
— Ochus — ruled Persia for 27 years, though others say he ruled for 36 years. He 
eliminated the Egyptian kingdom and made it subject to himself. As regards Nectanebo, 
through magic he ascertained the end [of Egypt's independence] and so fled [g95] to 
Ethiopia, and thence to Macedonia where some say he fathered Alexander. 

Egypt remained kingless for 22 years until the time of Pawt'imos or Ptolemaeus, one of 
Alexander's friends. 

Artaxerxes [Ochus], king of the Persians, settled the Jews in the city of Hyrcania on the 
shore of the Caspian Sea. In those days Philip, Alexander's father, ruled the Macedonians 
for 27 years. His wife's name was Olympia. He submitted to the Persians. Philosophers 
in this period were Aristotle and Epicurus. 

Alexander, Philip's son, was born in the 13th year of the reign of Ochus, and in the 8th 



year of his father's reign. After Artaxerxes Ochus, his son Arses (Bore's) ruled the 
Persians for 4 years. 

After [Arses], Darius, the son of Artaxerxes, ruled for 6 years. In the first year of his 
reign Philip's son Alexander ruled, 12 years. He was 20 years of age, 3 cubits in height, 
very wise, and exceptionally valiant. He destroyed 37 monarchs, one of whom was 
Vane', king of [g96] Greater Armenia. First he ruled in Greece. He had a force of 
120,000 men of which 12,000 were stationed there. 

Now in the 6th year of Alexander, which corresponded to the 6th year of Darius the 
Persian, Alexander fought with Darius in Cilician Sis and defeated him. And thus end the 
Persian kingdom which had endured for 23 1 years. [Alexander] built 12 cities named 
after himself and he constructed a gate in the Hun areas so that they would not pollute 
the country [with invasions]. It was an iron gate 30 cubits high and 8 cubits wide. He 
went to Jerusalem and offered prayers to God, honored the High Priest Andrimak'os, 
and then went on to Egypt. Now when the Samaritans heard about matters, they killed 
Andrimak'os for he did not prevent prevent heathens from entering the Temple or 
attending the service. Alexander heard about this, and he returned in rage, destroyed 
Samaria and totally exterminated the line of the Samaritans, settling Macedonians in their 
place. He was called the first king of the Greeks [g97]. 

[Alexander] died in Babylon, poisoned. His rule was then taken by four of his friends, 
and thus was fulfilled the prophecy which said that the he-goat would fight with the ram, 
Darius, and [then] that one horn, [Alexander], would fall off. The four horns [in the 
prophecy] which later appeared were Alexander's friends. The kingdom of Egypt was 
taken and held by Ptolemy for 40 years. He brought Alexander's body to Egypt and 
buried it there. During the first year of his reign, he took by treachery Jerusalem which 
was under the High-Priest Onias, and he led the captives to Egypt. His successors were 
styled, after his name, Ptolemids. 

In the second year of his reign Antiochus ruled Asia, 1 8 years. He enlarged Antioch and 
named it after his son. 

In the 13th year of Ptolemy's reign, Seleucus ruled the Assyrians and Babylonians, up to 
India, 33 years. He also captured Antioch for himself. Moreover, he expanded and built 
up Seleucia by the foot of Mount Ras el-Khanzir (R'asiandzer). He gave his son's name 
to Antioch, which earlier had been called Antigonia (Antelias) and was situated on the 
river known as "the producer of bricks" [g98]. Diocletian enlarged it further. Now 
Seleucus had four daughters: Laodice, in whose name he built Laodicea which is Ladik; 
Ephemis, in whose name he built Apamea (Ephemia); Biria, in whose name he built 
Beria which is Aleppo; and Edesse, in whose name he built Edessa which is Ur'ha. He 



also constructed the cities of Balu and Marash and settled Jews in them. Furthermore he 
honored the Israelites and commanded that they should be able to come into his presence 
whenever they wished, as his dear friends did. It was in this period that the great tower 
called Protos was built by Sostratos of Kandi in the sea of Nephros, across from 
Alexandria between the land and the sea. 

Then Seleucus seized Demetrius, one of Alexander's friends. Casandros ruled in 
Macedonia for 10 years. He was followed by Demetrius who captured Cilicia and was 
called king of Asia [lands which] Seleucus had seized and ruled all of Asia. It was at the 
beginning of the reign of Seleucus, which commenced 12 years after Alexander's death, 
that the Syrian dating began. Now after the death of the first Ptolemy [g99], Ptolemy 
Philadelphus ruled in Egypt for 39 years. In his first year Ceraunus (Cronus) ruled the 
Macedonians, one year. Then Meleager (Palagaros), for two months; Antipater for 46 
days; Sosthenes for two years. After Seleucus, Antiochus Soter reigned for 19 years. 

In the second year of his reign, Antigonus ruled the Macedonians for 36 years. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 5 

Concerning the Translation of the Old Testament on the Island of 

Cyprus. 



In the 6th year of Ptolemy [Philadelphus], the Old Testament was translated by 72 men 
on the island of Cyprus, though others say it was done in Alexandria, Egypt. [This group 
was composed of] six men from each from the tribes of Israel. Here are their names: 
Josephus, Ezekiel, Elisha, Zakaria, Yovhanne's [glOO], and Ezekiel, from the tribe of 
Ruben; Judah, Simon (Shmawon), Adde, Samuel, Mat'e', and Salome (Saghamia), from 
the tribe of Simon; Noam, Joseph, Theodosius, Bosos, Urianos and Tucios, from the 
tribe of Levi; Jonathan, Abiar, Elisha, Ananias, Zacharia, Hezekiah, from the tribe of 
Judah; Isaac, Jacob, Jesus, Shampat, Simon and Levi, from the tribe of Issachar; Judah, 
Joseph, Simon, Zechariah, Simon and Salome, from the tribe of Zebulun; Smpatia, [? 
Ada-menhatia or Adanempatia], Zedekiah, Jacob, Isaac, Isaiah and Matthew, from the 
tribe of Gad; Theodos, Jason, Jesus, Theodoros, John and Jonathan, from the tribe of 
Asher; Theophilus, Abraham, Etamos, Jason, Jeremiah and Daniel, from the tribe of 
Dan; Jeremiah, Lazarus, Zakaria, Bania, Dathan, and Elisha, from the tribe of Naphtali; 
John, Ilos, Ject (Ekti), Theodos, Nersam, and Ezekiel, from the tribe of Benjamin; 
Caleb, Samuel, Joseph, Judah, Jonath, and Thosdi, from the tribe of Joseph. The Old 
Testament was translated by these men on the island of Cyprus and then [the 
translations] were taken to Egypt and deposited in the royal palace. Others assert that [the 
translation] was made on the island of Pharos, Egypt. However, we have confirmed the 
accuracy [of the former] [glOl]. Now after 74 years of Greek rule and 62 years of 
Syrian rule, the Parthians in the eastern parts and the Persians considered matters and 
reasoned that the kingdom of the Macedonians had fragmented and weakened and that 
there was a great distance separating them. "Let us establish a king amongst us," they 
decided. And so they enthroned a man descended from the sons of Abraham and his 
wife Kendura from the line of Amram — Arshak the brave — in Balkh, the capital city of 
that land. And the Parthians, Persians, and their neighbors the Medes submitted to him. 

Seeing this, the Hyrcanians, who lived in a land to the north of Persia, also established 



their own king, however they submitted to the Parthians. Similarly, the Armenians 
established their own king. This followed their brave, conquering, and frightening 
(tiezerasast, "to make to tremble") Haykazean kings who had eliminated the kingdom of 
the Medes and made subject all the kingdoms of the north and all the peoples 
neighboring them. We have not seen this described in their books and chronologies, and 
so we will write about it here. 

The dynasty of the Haykids lasted [gl02] until the time of Vane', who was slain by 
Alexander [the Great]. Once more they ruled from Palestine to the T'e'talik' on the far 
side of Mt. Caucasus and the Caspian Sea. One of Arshak's sons, Vagharshak, ruled over 
them in a mighty kingdom. We shall now leave this [digression, and return] to 
trustworthy writers. 

Following this most wise Ptolemy [Philadelphus], there ruled in Egypt Ptolemy Eugertes 
(Arkadis). In Syria Seleucus Callinicus ruled, and in Macedonia, Demetrius Philippus. 

In these times the High Priest of the Jews, Onias son of Simon the Just, did not want to 
pay the taxes to Ptolemy. Ptolemy was enraged and wanted to march against Jerusalem. 
However, the Jews sent Josephus to him to make peace. He was graciously received and 
[Ptolemy] made him military commander over all Judah (Hre'astan). In the 75th year of 
the Syrian [era] Seleucus Ceraunus (Cronos) ruled for 3 years in Asia. He was succeeded 
by Antiochus the Great for 36 years. The Maccabees were martyred by him. 

In the 53rd year of the Syrian era, Ptolemy Philapator [gl03] ruled in Egypt for 17 years. 
He greatly harassed the Jews. Antiochus went and subdued Egypt, destroying it with the 
sword. Then he turned to Jerusalem and captured it. The first book of the Maccabees 
concerns this. In the 1 1 Oth year of the Syrian era, Ptolemy Epiphanes ruled in Egypt for 
21 years. He sent his general Scopas (Esk'op) and made the Jews and the Palestinians 
obedient. Then Antiochus arose against him, defeated him, and conquered the cities 
which he had taken. 

It was this same Antiochus who paved the streets of many cities, placed markers along 
the roads indicating distance inparsangs, constructed stone bridges over rivers and 
streams, and improved difficult roads to facilitate travel. In the 1 1th year of his reign, he 
warred against the Romans, was defeated and captured by them. He gave his son as a 
hostage while he raised his ransom money, a yearly tax of 1000 talents of gold. This 
marked the beginning of Asia and Syria being tributary to the Romans. 

In this period, the Macedonians [gl04] were ruled by Philip for 44 years. And here the 
prophecy of Daniel was fulfilled, the one which said that the king of the north would 
make war on the king of the south — that is, Antiochus with Ptolemy. [Ptolemy] had 



given his daughter to him, and later took her back. 

It was this Antiochus who killed Shmona and his sons and was wickedly tormented all 
the days of his life. He went to the country of the Elamites to have his inner demons 
treated, and the elders said to him: "Bring forth the bones of those whom you have slain, 
prostrate yourself before them and you will be healed." He quickly sent to Antioch and 
[his envoys] placed the remains of the saints into baskets and departed. When they 
reached the city of Hathach, they encountered men who informed them that the king 
[Antiochus] had been slain by lapidation in the temple of his gods because of his 
wickedness. When they heard this, they buried the [relics of] the saints near an enormous 
oak tree. After the passage of some time, these relics were made manifest. A monastery 
was constructed on the site which exists to this day. 

Seleucus ruled Asia, and his friend Diodorus harassed the Jews. God punished him 
[105]. 

In the 1 3 1st year [of the Syrian era], Antiochus was released from Rome, and ruled in 
his father's stead. Named Epiphanes, he reigned for 1 1 years. He wanted to go against 
Egypt, but the Romans blocked him. Instead, he turned to Judah (Hre'astan) and gave 
the office of High Priest to Onias' brother Jason. But after a short while, he took the 
office away from him and gave it back to Onias — a deed which caused conflict between 
the brothers. Mattathias, son of John, son of Simon the Priest who was of the sons of 
Jonathan, sat in the city of Modin with his seven sons: John, Simon (Shmavon), Judah, 
Maccabee, Eliezer, Aware', and Jonathan. He was inflamed with zeal for God having 
witnessed unbelievable crimes. And so he slew the wrongdoers, and withdrew in 
rebellion with his family into the mountains. 

As for Antiochus, he died in Persia through the anger of the Lord, sustaining the same 
blows as his father, since he had followed the identical path. Indeed, he had defiled the 
Temple by erecting in it a statue of Zeus, and also had erected a temple to Zeus and 
Xanthus on Mount Gerizim, as the Samaritans had requested. 

In the 18th year of Ptolemy [gl06] Epiphanes, [Antiochus] Eupator ruled, 2 years. He 
sent his general Shawrgho'ra [? Gorgias] to Hre'astan at the head of 120,000 troops and 
elephants. Many Jews were killed by them. Eliezer died beneath one of the elephants. 
When they buried the Israelite casualties, they discovered beneath their clothing images 
and icons of the idols. 

In that period the High Priest Onias went to Egypt and built a temple to the Lord similar 
to the one in Jerusalem, but without the Lord's command. Priestly services were 
performed there in accordance with the [proper religious] law. The Temple in Jerusalem 
was rennovated by Judas Maccabaeus — who was the leader of the Jews — and it 



remained intact until its final destruction by the Romans. 

Judas was succeeded by Jonathan who was killed along with Alexander by Tryphon. 
[Jonathan] was succeeded by Simon (Shmawon) who sent to Rome a shield of gold and 
requested a treaty [of peace]. And they brought him a bronze tablet as a sign of the 
alliance. He sent his son John and had the troops of Antiochus broken. And they were 
freed from paying taxes [to him]. With this, the second book of the Maccabees concludes 
[gl07]. 

In 174 [of the the Syrian era] Simon was slain by Ptolemy. His son, John, succeeded 
him. At this time a certain Jew became ruler of Edessa and remained [in power] until the 
time of the father of King Abgar. 

Now John went to Hyrcania and defeated them and was called, in consequence, 
Hyrcanus. 

Antiochus Agrippa became king and came to Jerusalem and demanded an extraordinarily 
heavy tax. Then John opened the tomb of King David and removed therefrom all the 
gold and ornaments of the kings of Judah. He took 3,000 talents of gold and reburied the 
remainder. He gave 300 talents to Antiochus, who then departed. Subsequently John or 
Hyrcanus went against Samaria and ruined it. 

In the year 196 [of the Syrian era] Ptolemy Soter ruled in Eygpt, 17 years. Then 
Antiochus took Hyrcanus with him and went and killed Sitos, king of the Parthians. 

In the 4th year of Ptolemy, Antiochus Kizikos [? of Cyzica] ruled in Asia, [gl08], 18 
years. In the 1 1th year of Ptolemy, John Hyrcanus died and he was succeeded by 
Aristobulus, Jonathan's son, for one year. He thereby added the [royal] crown to the 
clerical [office]. His two brothers, Alexandrus and Antigonus, treacherously murdered 
each other in accordance with the prediction of their father, who had the gift of 
prophecy. 

After Aristobulus, his office passed to his brother John, who was also called Yane', for 
27 years. He dealt with his people very severely. In this period Ptolemy was expelled by 
Cleopatra, his mother, and Ptolemy Alexander ruled in Egypt for 10 years. In his 6th 
year the kingships of Asia and Syria were eliminated and [these countries] fell under the 
Roman yoke. 

The old books of the people end at this point. From [the time of] Adam, 5,072 years had 
elapsed. From that point to the birth of Christ were 124 years. The duration of the kings 
of Asia was 216 years, starting with the death of Alexander. In 222 of the Syrian era, the 
expelled Ptolemy returned to his throne, 8 years [gl09]. 



He was succeeded by Ptolemy Dionysius, Cleopatra's brother, for 30 years. In the fifth 
[or, seventh] year of Ptolemy, John also called Alexandros, died and his wife Salome 
(Saghina) took power, 9 years. She was a devout and pious woman who bore three sons: 
Hyrcanus, Aristobulus, and Antigonus. Hyrcanus had the High Priesthood, which 
Aristobulus wanted to take from him, until the Roman military commander Pompey 
came and carried him off in chains and confirmed Hyrcanus, 34 years. It was he who 
rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem which Pompey had destroyed. Then the Jews fell under 
Roman domination. 

Now Pompey detached many lands, from the Armenians, Syrians, and Arabs and 
became very great — to the point that he was styled Autocrator. During this period 
Ptolemy died and was succeeded by Cleopatra, two years. 

Pompey was slain by Gaius Julius [Caesar] for suspected rebellion. 

Herod lived in these times. Below is his genealogy [gl 10]. 

His father, Antipater son of Herod, was from Ascalon and was chief priest of the idol of 
Apollo. He was enslaved by the Edomites and while there he was married to Cypridis 
(Kup'rite'), daughter of Aretas, king of the Arabs. He became friendly with Hyrcanus 
who was supported by Pompey in the matter of the [High] Priesthood. Thus [Antipater] 
became acquainted with the Romans and found favor in their eyes, to the point that they 
established him as ruler of the Jews, with Hyrcanus' consent. [Antipater] had four sons, 
Joseph, Pheroras (P'eruri), Phessalus, and Herod, and one daughter, named Salome. 
Joseph and Phessalus were engaged as administrators of the Jews with their father. Then 
one of the Jews poisoned Antipater with his son Joseph. Then Antigonus killed Phessalus 
by piercing his head with a poisoned weapon. For it happened that when Barzaphran, 
military commander of the Armenians, had come to Jerusalem and captured it, he 
deposed Hyrcanus and replaced him with Antigonus. Then [Barzaphran] took Hyrcanus 
and Pheroras to Armenia, bound in chains. 

Now Herod went to Rome and related the misfortune of his father and brothers [gill] 
bearing witness to their loyalty. As a result, the emperor of Rome gave him a crown. 
When he returned to Jerusalem, he killed Antigonus and then, after a while, Hyrcanus 
who had been freed from Armenian captivity. And then he reigned in tranquility. 

He also killed Jonathan, Hyrcanus' son. 

And then was the prophecy fulfilled which says that when the government of the Jews 
shall depart, the natural king shall appear. And the 7 weeks and 62 weeks, or 69 weeks, 
mentioned in Daniel were fulfilled. Beginning with the 6th year of Darius the Mede, 483 
years had elapsed to the Annunciation of the Virgin [Mary], mother of Emmanuel. In 



King Abgar's translation [of the Bible] we have found [the story] that when Daniel had 
learned that there would be a Christ, he pined with longing [to witness the event]. And 
toward his end by the bank of the Tigris River, he prostrated himself and implored God, 
crying out: "Oh God of Israel, show me your Christ before I die." Then Gabriel came to 
him and said: "Rest in peace, good man, for the time has not yet come [gl 12]. Rather He 
will come after your vision has been realized. He will be crucified, die, descend into Hell, 
and retrieve you therefrom. So comfort yourself with the hope of His coming." 

Accordingly, that time arrived and Jesus Christ, the annointed of God, was born in 
Bethlehem of Judah in the 44th year of the reign of Augustus. And the fire that 
descended from Heaven burned the homage paid to those idols, which supposedly 
housed deities, on Mount Olympus. 

This transpired in the first year of the reign of Abgar, and the 32nd year of Herod. Thus, 
in the temporal sense, our King Abgar was reigning at the same time as our Lord. 
According to the Septuagint, this occurred in the 5,108th year from Adam. According to 
Eusebius, [the birth of Jesus] took place in the 5,284th year; according to Anianus, 5,091 
years; according to others, 5,503. Now according to the Syrians it was 5,026 years [from 
Adam]. [The birth occurred] on the first of [the month of] Nisan, on a Monday in a year 
of 12 months. It was at the time when Cyrenius was sent by the Senate to Syria and 
Palestine [gl 13] to take a census and levy taxes. For Rome had heard about the 
rebellious Theodas (Theudas) and Judas who were saying that the Jews should not pay 
taxes to a mortal king, and it was furious. This unprecedented measure was a result of 
the rebels. 

Now Augustus was the second autocrat and caesar of the Romans after Julius [Caesar]. 
[Caesar], supposedly, means "from the stomach" (p'orehan). [Augustus] had the good 
fortune to rule 462 years after the abolition of the Roman kingship, from Tarquinius. 

Previously the holder of the royal dignity was styled Babios, now they are called 
emperors and autocrats. From the foundation of Rome to the second restoration of the 
monarchy 702 years had elapsed. The kings of the second kingdom surpassed their 
predecessors. For the first of these sovereigns, Gaius, went and conquered Egypt. He 
was then styled Kaynan or Andronikos according to some. This Julius was assassinated 
after ruling for 5 years. He was succeeded by Augustus who [gl 14] merited a glorious 
birth, since it occurred close to the time of Our Lord. 

The Romans ruled in Asia and Assyria. In this period they placed Lucius Romanus in the 
Syrian area to write back to Rome about all goings on there. And thus it was that he 
wrote about the time of Our Lord's nativity, and the coming of the Magi: 



"May your majesty know that some Persian grandees, led by a heavenly glory, 
came and entered your realm and bowed down in homage to a boy-child born 
in Judah. We shall ascertain who the baby is and whose son." 

The emperor responded: "Herod, whom we made king in Palestine, will inform you 
about the coming of the Magi." Now as to who these Magi were, Eusebius and Gregory 
[of Nyssa] say that were descendants of Abraham, though others suggest that they were 
descendants of the mage Barlaam. We have followed Gregory in this, and this view is the 
correct one. Now James [of Edessa] writes that the Magi were descendants of Shem and 
hailed from Elam. Others, following the testimony of David, say that they were kings of 
Arabia [gl 15] and Saba. They were three kings who offered three types of gifts. 
According to some, following Micah, there were eight of them, because they had eight 
drivers. The blessed James states that they were 12 princes, and in a book he specified 
that [they traveled with] 3,000 cavalry and 5,000 infantry. Now when they reached the 
Euphrates at a place called Callinicos or Ragha they learned that there was famine in 
Judah. In order to prevent any alarm, they left many of their party and the twelve of 
them proceeded alone with 1,000 cavalry. Subsequently they returned to their troops. 
Here are the names of these princes: Dahandur son of Artazd, Shae'p' son of Tudebar, 
Arshak son of Mahguda, Zrewand son of Varidud, Arihu son of Xosrov, Artashe's son of 
Uliaf, E'sht'ank'uza son of Shishront', Mehduk' son of Huma, Ak'shirish son of Sahapan, 
Sartana son of Beldan and Barudok' son of Bel. The king who sent them was named 
Pir-Shapuh. Now some say that they arrived two months after the Nativity. The truth is 
that [gl 16] two months prior [to the Nativity] they had been apprised of it by a star and 
had set out. They arrived [in Bethlehem] one day after and found Him wrapped in 
swaddling clothes and laying in a manger. 

[Jesus] after staying in Bethlehem for 40 days was taken to the Temple where he was 
received by Simon who, by the order of the Holy Spirit, had been kept alive. 

[Simon] was one of the translators [of the Bible] from the time of Ptolemy. He regretted 
the way he had translated that verse in Isaiah [VII. 1 4] which speaks about a Virgin 
conceiving, for he had reasoned that the Pagans who had requested the translation would 
ridicule it as unbelievable. Thus he regretted and grew sadder. "My colleagues will write 
it and ridicule me, and there will be dispute about it." His colleague knew about this and 
the two of them fell asleep sorrowing. Now when they awoke they saw that [those 
words] had been miraculously written in gold letters. 

Simon wept that entire day and wished that he be granted the longevity to see that Child 
born of a virgin. And, lo, the Holy Spirit said unto him "You shall not die until you attain 
your wish." That wish was realized in the 344th year of his life. Now [gl 17] [Jesus] was 
taken from the Temple to Nazareth and thence to Egypt, 62 days after His birth. Others 



maintain that this happened 2 years later. 

Herod, deceived by the Magi, flew into a rage and burned all the books of the Jews and 
[tried to] eradicate all memory of their kings and priesthood so that he could continue to 
control the kingdom. He also killed 1,462 children in 84 villages. 

Herod suppressed the kingship and priesthood of the Jews, took the ephod and gave it, 
for bribes, to the unworthy. He demolished the walls of Jerusalem and wrought great 
destruction until all Israel accepted him. He sent to Babylon and had Ananias, who was 
not a Levite, brought back and he made him High Priest for a year. Then he made [High 
Priest] Aristobulus, the son of Hyrcanus and his brother's wife. However, next he killed 
him and reinstated Ananias. 

In this period the troops [gl 18] of the Armenians which were over the Euphrates were 
defeated and Samosata fell to the Romans. 

Now during the era of Augustus, his general Antony fell in love with Cleopatra, rebelled 
and declared himself king, and went to Egypt. Augustus went against him and seized 
him, but left him alive because of the entreaties of the Senate. Augustus sent a large 
number of Egyptian captives to Rome and soon returned there himself. Meanwhile, 
Antony married Cleopatra and rebelled a second time. It happened that Cleopatra had a 
grudge against the Armenians, Hebrews, and Arabs, and used Antony to spread her 
venom. 

When Augustus heard about [the turn of events], he went against [Antony] amd besieged 
him in Egypt. Cleopatra and Antony fought against Augustus together, but when they 
saw their own defeat approaching, they committed suicide. Then Augustus killed 
Cleopatra's children, the Sun and the Moon. This put an end to the kingdom which the 
Greeks called the Ptolemid, which had endured for 296 years. Augustus now styled 
himself Sebastus, which translates "victorious." 

There are some who date the reign [gl 19] of Augustus beginning with this event. Next, 
Augustus sent his general Tiberius and made peace with them. Then he went to the land 
of Cyrenaica and subdued it. Herod built up Samaria, which he named Sebastia after the 
emperor. He built numerous cities and enlarged the palace in Jerusalem. He raised the 
tower of Straton and named it [Caesarea] after the emperor. Now all these event, though 
recorded here, occurred prior to the birth of Our Lord. 

Herod increased his wickedness. He killed his wife Mari and all the skilled and learned 
Jews. And the Lord struck him from head to foot with ailments which affected every part 
of his body. Nor could the physicians help him. When they placed him in [a bath of] 
warm olive oil, his pains only intensified. Then he arrested the principals of the Jews and 



ordered his brother-in-law Alexis and his sister Salome to have them executed when he 
died. That way the Jews, unwillingly, would be forced to mourn on the day of his death. 
Indeed, they did that. Herod died wickedly of his ailments [gl20] in the 37th year of his 
reign. 

This Herod had nine wives and eight sons. His wife Doris bore him a son, Antipater, 
who killed two of his brothers. His father in turn put him to death. Mari, Hyrcanus' 
daughter, bore him Alexander and Aristobulus. killed by Antipater, and [another son 
named] Herod, whom some call Antipater. It was he who married Herodiade and killed 
John [the Baptist]. [Herod's] wife the Samaritan Melkos bore a son, Archelaus, whom 
Augustus established as king in his father's place for 9 years. Cleopatra bore another 
Herod and Philip. Herod took his brother's wife and died because of it. [Another of 
Herod's wives], Pallas, was the mother of Phazael (P'ilayos). 

And here is a list of [Herod's] grandsons: Aristobulus fathered Herod who ruled in 
Chalcis, and Agrippa, called Herod, who killed James, brother of John [the Baptist] 
[gl21]. He fought with his father's brother and took the kingdom from him. And he had 
a son Agrippa who ruled after him, as well as two daughters, Berenice and Drusilla, the 
latter marrying the judge Felix. 

Now when Archelaus had ruled for 9 years, he was exiled to the city of Vienna (Bena) 
because of his evil ways. The tetrarch Herod succeeded him. Augustus died that same 
year an was succeeded by Tiberius, who ruled for 23 years. 

When the Lord of All returned from Egypt, He lived quietly during His childhood in 
Nazareth. In 337 [of the Syrian era], in the 14th year of Tiberius, Pilate was sent to 
Jerusalem as a judge. In the 15th year of Tiberius, Our Lord came to be baptized by 
John, son of Zakaria. This occurred in 5,537th year of the expulsion of Adam from 
paradise, on January 6th according to the Roman [calendar] which is the 2 1 st of the 
month of Tebeth according to the Hebrew [calendar]. During the reign of the emperor 
Tiberius [gl22], Herod built the cities of Tiberius (named after the emperor) and Abais. 
Pilate placed a statue of Zeus in the Temple and squandered the Temple's treasures on 
[building an] aqueduct. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 6 

Concerning the Selection and Martyrdom of the Apostles 



In the 30th year of the Incarnation of Our Lord, the Apostles were selected. They were 
named: 1. Simon Peter, from the Nepthali clan, who was the first to place an altar in 
Antioch. He went to Rome in the time of Claudius, remained there for 25 years, and was 
martyred by Nero. 2. There was also Andrew, his brother, who preached in Nicaea, 
Nicomedia, Scythia, and Achaia. Originally, the [establishment of the ecclesiastical] seat 
at Ephesus was attributed to him. It was later moved to Constantinople. 3. There was 
also James, son of Zebedee from the clan of Zabulon, who went to Spain, returned to 
Jerusalem and was slain by Herod 8 years after the Passion of the Lord. His relics are at 
Yur Marmarike' (? Compostell). 4. And there was his brother John who, after the 
Dormition of the Mother of God, went to Ephesus where he died in the 7th year of 
Trajan. 5. And Philip from [gl23] Beth Said from the tribe of Azer who preached in 
Africa and died in Pisidia. 6. Bartholemew of the Issachar tribe from the village of 
Adawir preached in Parthia then went to inner Armenia where he was crucified by King 
Sanatruk, and his skin was removed. 7. Thomas from the tribe of Judah preached among 
the Parthians, Medes, and Indians where he was martyred. 8. Matthew from the tribe of 
Issachar of Nazareth preached among the Jews, died in Gabal, and was buried in 
Antioch. Subsequently his body was transported overseas. 9. Simon the Canaanite from 
the tribe of Ephrem died in Hama, though other say in Cyrrus. 10. Judas, called 
Thaddeus, who, because of his wisdom was also called Lebeos, which is to say, heart 
and soul, preached in Syria and in inner Armenia at Biwrudis and was martyred by 
Sanatruk. Some say that his body was brought to Edessa. 11. James son of Alphe from 
the tribe of Manasseh was martyred in Seruj. Judas Iscariot the traitor from the tribe of 
Dan went to take his place. 12. Mathias, his successor, from the tribe of Ruben, was 
martyred in the land of the Cannibals. 

After these, the Lord brought out another 72 [disciples] who were named [gl24]: 

1 . Adde, martyred in Edessa. 



2. Ache, martyred by Abgar's son Sirinus. 

3. Anania, slain by General Phul at Baril. He served Paul in Damascus. 

4. Lazarus resurrected by the Lord, died in Cyprus. 

5. Meliav (Silas?) was drowned in Rhodes. 

6. Cephas who remained in Hems and died in Pechizar. 

7. Barnabas died in Samos. 

8. Sosthenes was thrown into the sea in Pontus. 

9. Cyriaque (Kiwrakos) was beheaded in prison in Alexandria. 

10. Joseph Philiton who buried the Lord, died in his house. 

1 1 . Nicodemus, martyred in Jerusalem. 

[12. Nathaniel, killed by lapidation on a mountain of Harran.] 

13. Justus, martyred in Caesarea Philippi. 

14. Sylla, martyred at Philippi. 

15. Jude, son of James, martyred in Philoud, according to others, in Ourmi a city of 
Armenia. 

16. Jude, son of Shapi, preached in Xlat' where he was martyred. 
17 Mark, called John, martyred in Aziaz. 

18. Oumnas, martyred in Melitene. 

19. Nigh (Inicia), martyred in Boudouni. 
Jason, devoured by wild beasts in Polombo. 

2 1 . Manael, burned Akka. 

22. Rufus [gl25] , who was killed in Dluk. 

23. Alexander, thrown into a pit at Hierapolis. 

24. Simon of Cyrene, killed with a sword [at Bacchus]. 

25. Xenos, trampled under the feet of horses. 

26. Cleophas, crucified in Jerusalem. 

27. 28. The brothers Ovsess and Jacob, killed by lapidation in Sparta. 

29. Theodosius, burned to Laodicea. 

30. Diotarius, martyred at Palu. 

31. 32. Abion and Mamaron who entered the country of the Cushites and were martyred 
there. 

33. Josiah, martyred in Samos. 

34. Jason, martyred on the island of Crete, at Chouzia. 

35. Titus, martyred in Palrite. 

36. Patribos, martyred in Chalcedon. 

37. Hermes (Hermes), the pastor, martyred at Antioch in Pisidia. 



38. The other Cyriaque, martyred in Caesarea. 

39. Chrysimus, martyred in Bznunik'. 

40. Narcissus, martyred in Laodicea. 

41. Arolus martyred in Caesarea. [And Mamaw thrown into the flames in Sicily]. 

42. Timothy, martyred at Ephesus. 

43. Mark the evangelist, martyred in Alexandria. 

44. Luke the Evangelist, died at Daus. 

45. Levi, from Khoromos, beheaded at Puen. [And Epremios, martyred in Vashaw.] 

46. Nicetas was sawed in two in Tiberias [or by order of Tiberius]. 

47. 48. Routos and Linos, killed in Achaia. 

49. 50. 51. John [gl26], [and Deodos] and Theodos, thrown to wild beasts in Baalbek. 

52. Stephen, killed by lapidation in Jerusalem. 

53. Niceus, killed by Prince Xison in the church. 

54. Mattel, martyred in Palnamout. 
[55. Ephremios, martyred in Vazou.] 

56.. Liaison, martyred in Pamphis. 

57. Zechariah, son of the widow, killed by lapidation in Haurine. 

58. Another Zechariah martyred with him. 

59. 60 Both Zacchaeus, martyred in the desert. 

61. Simon the leper, martyred in Rhamtha. 

62. 63. 64. Olympius, Stephen, and Eustace, died in prison in Tiberias. 
65. 66, Anania and Simon, beheaded by the prefect of Byzantium. 

67. Eupinda, burned alive by order of the judge Diocritus. 
[68. Theocritus the catechumen, martyred in Pelis.] 

This is the number [of followers] who were elected in the womb of their mothers before 
the creation of the world, prepared by the arms of the Word, and established as the 
foundation of the Church. They began the faith which is the universal Church, living the 
glory of the Lord, illumined by the stars, claiming the glory of the Heavenly Bridegroom. 

In the days of Emperor Tiberias, there shone forth the marvellous Philo of Alexandria 
[gl27]. He wrote about all the events concerning the Jews, a book of commentaries on 
Genesis, on the products of the earth, on the mentatlity of the just who, on rising, pray 
instead of cursing, [he also wrote] on the decay of language, on the work of teaching, on 
the diverse names of writings, on the two Testaments, five homilies about seeing things in 
dreams, five more homilies about the spirit leaving the body, and four homilies about the 
law. He wrote about the men in Egypt who, like unto Christ, practised asceticism. He 



wrote denunciations of Gaius, who deified himself. And he wrote numerous other 
homilies giving advice. He also spoke prophetically about Christ after the crucifixion and 
believed in his coming, to the men in Egypt occupied with the study of the Lord, the 
disciples of the apostles. In the era of Emperor Claudius, his writings were placed in the 
royal library. 

Now, as Josephus informs, at the time of Our Lord, there were seven sects among the 
Jews. First were the Scribes, called those of the Law [rabbis]; second were the Levites, 
who held the ancient traditions; third were the Pharisees [gl28] who baptized frequently, 
believed in astrology and fortunes, but also resurrection, the soul, and angels. They 
fasted twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. Fourth, the Saducees who did not 
confess the soul, angels, or resurrection. They took their name and doctrine from the 
priest Saduc. Fifth, the Baptists who said that man could not live unless he was baptized 
each day. Sixth were those who abstained from eating any type of animal and did not 
accept Moses and the prophets. Rather, they had other writings in place of them. 
Seventh, [those] Jews (Hre'ut'iwn) who do not know the power of Scripture, but look to 
the letter, professing one God in one Person. And they keep the Laws. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 7 

Concerning Abgar, Who Sent an Artist to Jerusalem to Make a Portrait 

of Christ 



In the 1 9th year of Emperor Tiberias, Abgar, king of the Armenians and Syrians, heard 
the news about Our Lord, worshipped [gl29] and believed in Him. He sent Him a letter 
via his loyal [envoy], Anania, beseeching Him to come and heal his own ailments. [These 
were ailments] he had acquired some 7 years previously in Persia. And [Abgar asked 
Jesus] to rule along with him. 

Now the Lord promised that after His crucifixion and resurrection He would send a 
physician from among His disciples to heal him, and He also made him worthy of a reply 
and greetings. 

The fortunate king, to satisfy his longing sent his painter John to make a portrait of Him 
in place of His presence. John came and saw Jesus and tried to capture His beauty on the 
fabric Abgar [had provided]. But he was unable to do this, because [Jesus' face] was 
transformed from glory to glory and rejoiced in the faith [He would bring] to the 
heathens. And so, the Source of Kindness asked him for the cloth, placed it over His 
face, and impressed His features upon it. Then He returned it to the painter. 

This occurred 7 days before the Passion of Christ. The icon was brought and presented 
to the king and it worked many miracles before the coming of [gl30] the Apostle 
Thaddeus [to Edessa]. That same year the Lord voluntarily died on the Cross, was 
buried, resurrected, destroyed Hell, freed creation, and after 40 days rose to the Father. 

Here is what Josephus wrote: 

In our day a man appeared who was named Jesus. By the number of miracles 
he worked, it appeared that he was the Christ. But because of jealousy, the 
impious betrayed him to the judge Pilate, and they crucified him. After three 
days, he was seen alive. Those who believed in him did not abandon their faith 



in him. And to the present, the belief in him grows. And it was confirmed that 
He was the Christ, son of the Living God. 

Josephus adds that during the same year at the time of the feast of Pentacost, Pilate 
placed an image of the emperor in the Temple. And a voice was heard saying: "I will 
leave this place and never return." Philo recalls the same thing in his second book. 

Now concerning the seamless robe of the Lord, Saint Ephrem records that the soldiers 
cast lots for it, rather than divide it up. It fell to a soldier under the command of the 
centurion Longinus [gl31], who subsequently took it and brought it to the land of the 
Galatians, to his own city of Mok'son, where it is revered to this day. Another centurion, 
a Laz, delivered his portion of the clothing to his own city of P'ud [Poti in Mingrelia], the 
capital of the Egerians, where it was placed in a glass vessel and suspended in the Church 
there where it remains, untouched by anyone and visible to everyone. This was the 
seamless robe woven by Abgar's sister and presented to Our Lord by the messenger 
Anania. 

After the Passion of the Lord which saved [us], Agrippa went [to Rome] to denounce his 
father's brother, Herod. The emperor sent and had Herod and his wife Herodiade seized 
and put in prison in the city of Pavania. And after some days, both of them were killed. 

Meanwhile, King Abgar wrote three times to Tiberias about Christ's divinity, and 
denouncing Pilate. Then Tiberias summoned Pilate and investigated everything about him 
and then executed him. Abgar also wrote to King Nerseh in Babylon [gl32] and also to 
the king of the Persians that they too believe in Christ's divinity. This occurrred by the 
good will of God so that the Gospel not encounter opposition at its inception until it was 
perfectly established. And it happened in the reigns of these kings that confessors of the 
Word were able to preach in peace. Then suddenly the Gospel flew to the four corners of 
the world due to the zeal of this pious king [Abgar] who embraced the faith and was the 
first to extend a hand to Christ. At the behest of the Holy Spirit, the apostles, according 
to the prophecy of David, traveled the globe, as we have said above. 

Now Tiberias died at the age of 78, after reigning for 23 years. Then Gaius [Caligula] 
ruled for 3 years and 4 months. He found Agrippa who had been imprisoned in Rome by 
Tiberias, freed him, and sent him back to rule over the Jews. He also sent Felix as a 
prefect to Egypt with the authority to administer to the Jews, but he treated them harshly. 
Their sacred places had been polluted with unclean sacrifices for 7 years. As a result of 
this, [the Jews] [gl33] sent a delegation which included the philosopher Philo to Gaius, 
entreating him. He did not heed them and was greatly displeased. [Caligula] sent 
Petronius, the prince of Syria, to place his image in all the pagan temples and in Temple 
of the Jews so that he be worshipped as a god. And this was in fact done. Thus was the 



prophecy of Daniel about the depths of abomination fulfilled. 

At this time there appeared Simon, Menander, and Goruntos. 

The wicked and murderous Gaius was slain by a eunuch. Then Claudius ruled for 14 
years. 

As for Agrippa, after ruling as tetrarch for 3 years, and as king for 8 years, and after 
willingly accepted the tributes of a god from the rabble, he was struck down by an angel 
of the Lord and perished. 

In that period, at the festival of Passover, the Jews mobbed together at the Temple and 
30,000 people died [by trampling]. Then Claudius appointed as king of the Jews 
Agrippa's son, Agrippa, and he sent Felix as prefect over [gl34] Galilee and Samaria. 
After the death of Claudius, his son Nero ruled the empire for 13 years. He removed 
Felix as prefect and replaced him with Festus, before whom Paul appeared. Then Festus 
also was removed and replaced by Lambius who, in turn, Nero replaced by Belurus, 
during whose tenure the Jews rebelled from the emperor. In this period fire fell from 
heaven, igniting many buildings and killing many people. 

After this Nero turned against his family and starting killing its members. And in the 13th 
year of his reign he killed the Apostles [Peter and Paul], and initiated persecutions against 
the Church. He also sent Vespasian and his son, Titus, to Jerusalem because of a 
rebellion of the Jews. 

Now Josephus, general of the Jews and philosopher, was holed up in Iotapata City. 
Vespasian went there, took the city and began to destroy it. Josephus went before him 
and said: "Glad tidings to you, Vespasian, because soon you will reign [gl35] [as 
emperor] for Nero has died." And indeed it had happened, for Nero, loathed by 
everyone, had commited suicide. 

Galba then ruled for 7 months until he was killed in Rome. At the same time Surintalos 
[? Vindex] ruled as king in Germany, and Otho ruled in Rome though he was slain after 
only three months. He was succeeded by Vitellius for 8 months until the mob set upon 
him and killed him. 

Now Vespasian took Josephus and kept him with him in honor, as he invested Jerusalem. 

Then the news [of Nero's death] reached the troops with Vespasian and they suddenly 
proclaimed him emperor and dictator. The delighted [Vespasian] left his son at Jerusalem 
and went to Egypt, which he subdued, and then to Rome, where he reigned for 9 years 
and 10 months. Titus captured Jerusalem on the feast of Passover during which the Jews 



lost 1,260,000 people. The walls were demolished and the city was burned with fire until 
the last day of the month of Ahek [August] [gl36]. 

The capture and destruction of Jerusalem took place 5,537 (or, 5,437) years from the 
time of Adam; 40 years from the resurrection of Our Lord; and 1 103 years from the 
construction of the Temple. 

Jerusalem was captured in the second year of Vespasian. Three million Jews had taken 
refuge in the city at the time. On that Passover, 25,000 lambs were slaughtered. There 
was one lamb for ten people pure and impure, and people were unable to eat. Two 
million one hundred thousand people ate, 60,000 were killed by the sword, and 
1,100,000 starved to death. Taken into slavery to Egypt were 100,000 people aged 17 
and older who were put to making bricks. Those under the age of 17 were divided 
among the troops. And this was demanded for the blood of the Son of God. 

Humane God stipulated 40 years pennance for them. Titus took with him back to Rome 
two remarkable columns and a door of the Temple. At this time there ended the 
kingdoms [gl37] of Judea, Egypt, Asia, and Germanik (Cilicia?). Henceforth they were 
all ruled by the Romans. 

Now After Vespasian, his son Titus ruled. In his second year he was proclaimed God [by 
the Senate] and the rabble accepted it. The angel of the Lord struck and killed him. 
[Titus'] brother Domitian succeeded him, ruling for 17 years and 5 months. He chased 
out of Rome all the astrologers and witches and ruined the vineyards. In his day 
Christianity grew a great deal. As a consequence, the philosopher Patrophilus when 
addressing his teacher Ursinos (Zrinos) asked: "What is this Christian teaching which 
such a multitude accepts about a man who was crucified? Indeed, I am astounded that 
the philosopher Theodorus, the chief of the Athenian philosophers, Africanus of 
Alexandria, and Martinus from Batu (Bardu?) have believed in him and abandoned the 
pleasures of the world and their doctrines." And his teacher replied: "Be not surprised by 
that, for I believe that even the gods have submitted to him. [gl 3 8] As to why, it is 
because his doctrine advocates innocence, humility, and unselfishness, which is above all 
other doctrines. 

Domitian stopped the induction of eunuchs into the army. During his reign two months 
had their names changed: September [became] Germanos, and October [became] 
Parthenicus. Domitian also ordered that the race of David be exterminated, so that there 
would be no heir to the kingdom of the Jews. He also persecuted many Christians, 
among whom was the evangelist John. 

In these days too Apollonius of Tyana performed many diabolical acts of magic. He 
proclaimed: "Alas that the son of Mary preceded me, or I might have subdued the entire 



world." 

But Domitian was killed because of the severity of his ways. He was succeeded by Nerva 
for one year, a man whom the Senate proclaimed a god. He sickened and died wickedly. 

Next, Trajan ruled for 19 years. He persecuted the holy Church and because of him 
Simon [gl39] [son of] Cleophas, bishop of Jerusalem, and Ignatius, bishop of Antioch. 
Some say that he recalled from exile John, but others say it was Nerva who did this. 
Justus of Tiberias, the Jewish historian, lived in this period. According to the emperor's 
orders, Senator Lipinus (Plinus) massacred numerous Christians and then repented and 
wrote to the emperor saying, "All the Christians are good [people]. It is only that they do 
not revere the idols and they pray in the mornings." But [the emperor] responded: 
"Eliminate them without mercy." 

In this period the Jews of Egypt rebelled, made Lysias (Lumasos) king, and went to 
Jerusalem. Trajan sent and destroyed them and remained king over the Jews. 

In that period the Jews of Cyprus fought against the city of Salamis and killed its resident 
Greeks. Similarly the Jews of Cyrenaica in Libya raised their heads and were crushed. 

In these days lived Secundus the Silent [gl40]. In Rome the House of Gold burned 
down, while in Galatia an earthquake destroyed three cities. 

After Trajan, Hadrian ruled for 21 years. In the fourth year of his reign the kings [i.e., 
sovereignty] came to an end in Edessa. In Greater Armenia a king remained. 

The emperor Hadrian was also known as the "Father of the Land" since he burned debt 
documents. In the 14th year of his reign the Jews rebelled, having been deceived by an 
individual known as the Star [Bar Kochba]. Hadrian sent [troops against the rebels] and 
had them destroyed. And he expelled all the Jews in Jerusalem, ordered the city 
demolished, and had a city built near it called Hiloni (Ighu), which means "Star." In it he 
settled Christians and pagans. He also ordered that the ears of Jews be cut off, so that 
they might be distinguished [from others], and [he ordered that] they not dare to look 
toward Jerusalem. 

In the 21st year of his reign the first Council of Nicaea was convened, composed of 23 
bishops to deal with the heresy of the Libyan Sabellius. [The bishops] anathematised him 
for saying [gl41] that the Trinity consisted of only one person. Valentine, too, was 
anathematized for claiming that the body of Christ had been brought from heaven. In 
[Hadrian's] time lived the translator and astrologer Aquilus. 

Following Hadrian, Titus Antonius ruled for 22 years. He was called Sebastus and "The 



Just." His sons reigned with him. "Anton" translates as "father of the land." 

In his day, Justin of Nicopolis went to Rome and presented a letter of protest to the 
emperor, and the persecution of Christians ended. Cerdon, otherwise known as Marcion 
and Mark, appeared during [Antonius'] reign. He came from Rome preaching that Jesus 
Christ was not the prophesied son of God, and that there was no Resurrection. They 
baptized "in the name of the Father Who had appeared and in the name of the true 
Mother and in the name of the Son Who had descended upon God", and to this they 
added other extravagant things. 

Now in the year 475 of the Syrian Era, Marcus Aurelius ruled, with his sons Antonius 
and Lucius. In the first year of his reign Vaghk'e'sh, king of the Persians, came [gl42] to 
the land of the Romans, and wasted many districts. Aurelian's sons went against him, 
drove him out, and then went on to pacify Persia and Parthia. Lucius [Verus] was named 
Caesar. 

The Romans fought other battles: against the Germans, Karudi (?), the Sarmatians, and 
Gallimats. Lucius conquered them and was styled autocrator. 

After his death, Antonius his brother took as a co-ruler Commodus, because the people 
surrounding him were greatly bothering him. Commodus ruled for 1 3 years. He was 
strangled in the stable. Pertinax ruled after him for 6 months, and then was slain. 

After this Surinos [Septimius Severus] ruled for 18 years. In the first year of his reign a 
great war broke out between the Jews and the Samarians. In the 8th year of his reign he 
initiated a persecution of the Church and many folk were martyred. 

Surinos was killed when he went against a people who had arisen in the north west. His 
son Antonius [Caracalla] succeeded him, [gl43] reigning for 7 years. He returned those 
who had been exiled by his father, one of whom was Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem. 
Caracalla was killed between Edessa and Harran. Macrinus (Makar) ruled for one year 
and was killed. He was succeeded by Antoninus [Elagabal] for four years. During his 
reign Nicopolis or Emmaus was constructed in the country of the Philistines. 

The next ruler was Alexander, son of Mamme, a believing pious woman, and this 
occasioned great good for the Christians. 

In the year 542 of the Syrian Era, Artashir son of P'ap'ak ruled, beginning the last Persian 
kingdom which lasted 418 years. It was called the Sasanian [empire] and had 27 
monarchs before the coming of the Arab kingdom under Muhammed. 

After Alexander, Philip ruled for 7 years. It was in his first year that the Persian Shapur, 



Artashir's son, began his reign of 3 1 years. One thousand years had passed since the 
construction [gl44] of Rome. Subsequently, Decius (Doukia) killed Philip with his son, 
and ruled for one year. He in turn was slain by Buritos [Trebonian]. Then there ruled 
Burdos [Herenius], Burinos [Hostilian], Gaghios [Gallus], and Balon [Valusian] for one 
year. Then Valerian (Ulianos) and Gallienus for 1 3 years. They reinitiated persecutions of 
the Church. 

Shapur ruled the Persians and devastated Syria, Cilicia, and Cappadocia taking captives. 
Meanwhile the Goths had crossed the Danube River. They also took captives from the 
land of the Romans. Then Gallienus ceased persecuting Christians and the Church grew, 
fortified by miracles performed by marvellous folk. 

Next Claudius (Galatius) ruled for one year and was succeeded by Aurelian (Aghuris) for 
6 years. He added yet another wall around Rome. He battled with our faithful 
[Christians] and the Lord struck him with lightning. 

Then Tacitus (Tatianos) ruled for 6 months and was assassinated in Pontus. Florian 
succeeded him and was shortly afterwards killed by Tarse. Now following Shapur, 
Hurmazd ruled the Persians. In 593 of the Syrian Era [gl45], Constantine was born. 

After Florian, Probus ruled for 7 years. In the same period Vahram ruled over the 
Persians for 3 years. He was succeeded by his son Vahram for 1 7 years. In his day, 
Singleton fortified himself in Antioch and rebelled, but the emperor's troops killed him. 

After Probus, Cams and his sons Cams, Carinus and Numerianus ruled for 2 years. 
Cams died in Mesopotamia, Carinus died in warfare against the Cappadocians, and 
Numerianus was killed in Africa. Then the Senate took over the government. The era of 
Diocletian began at this period, which corresponds to 594 of the Syrian Era. It was the 
Senate which made Diocletian emperor and it was with his approval that Maximian and 
his son Maxindes took the purple. They were his sons-in-law. 

In this period Constantine mled in Gaul and Britain, Maxindes mled in Rome, and 
Diocletian and Maximian mled in the East, in perfect harmony. In these times [gl46] 
Egypt rebelled, and an army was sent there at his order. Now in the 1 1th year of 
Diocletian, Narseh mled the Persians, 7 years. He was succeeded by his son, Hurmazd, 
ruling for 5 years. In the 19th year of Diocletian persecution against the Christians 
increased and churches were demolished. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 8 

Concerning the Severe Famine that Occurred in Diocletian 's Time. 



A famine developed which was so severe that one mot' of wheat cost 2,500 silver 
dahekan s. 

Then the Lord struck Diocletian's heart with remorse, and he gave up a share [of the 
empire] to Maximian. But the latter just redoubled the inequities. Both monarchs were 
struck with terrible diseases. Thus they stopped the persecutions and sought prayers from 
the Christians. However, their repentance was short-lived, as though their gods did not 
want it. Thus was [gl47] the world subjected to such a plague, to the point that ten 
corpses were placed in a single grave. Along with the plague came drought and various 
other trials. Then those kings stopped their conduct, because they died. Now it happened 
that Emperor Constantius of Gaul had two wives, Helen and Theodora, who was the 
daughter of Maximian. In the 8th year of his reign he took as co-ruler Constantine the 
son of Helen and he died died three years later. Then the son ruled by himself. 

Ignatius of Melitene, however, says that while Constantius ruled, four kings were ruling: 
Severus, Maximus, Maxence, and Maximian all of whom persecuted the Church. When 
Severus died, his princes gave the throne to Constantine and made his son-in-law, 
Licinius, Caesar. After ruling for 7 years, Constantine made Licinius the co-ruler. In this 
period, Shapur ruled in Persia, 17 years. 

Then Constantine went [gl48] to Rome to war against Maxentius. As he was traveling, 
he had this thought: "I know that the idols did not help previous kings. If God will help 
me now, I will worship him." 

At noontime he and the entire army saw in the air the sign of the Cross and written upon 
it these words: "With this shall you conquer." And they were awestruck. That evening 
Christ appeared to him and said: "Create a model of what you saw, and you will be the 
victor." When he arose in the morning he did just that and commanded that [the Cross] 
be born before him. And thus was the Cross carried before the army. 



When the battle was joined, a strong wind arose from the sign of the Cross, and the 
impious were blown into the Tiber River. Constantine conquered Rome. His wife 
Diocleta, the daughter of Diocletian, and Licinius his son-in-law also became Christians. 

However Licinius did not keep the faith, and Constantine killed him. Some say that 
[gl49] Constantine was deceived by his wife and apostasized, and persecuted the Church 
of God until the Lord afflicted him with leprosy. Then he was baptized by Sylvester, and 
cured. John of Asia, however, says that the disease afflicted his father Constantius who 
had become Christian and married [another] Diocleta, who had stopped Constantine 
from following his father's example, until the time of the celestial light when both of 
them sincerely believed in Christ. As a result of this, all the enemies of the Church were 
destroyed, and Constantine became the sole emperor. 

Let us recall here the words of Theodore the philosopher who said that painters adorn 
[drawing] boards and walls to delight the eye, while narrators embellish their histories 
with marvellous events. 

In these times appeared the sun of the east, the wonderful Grigorios Part'ew [Gregory the 
Illuminator]. With very great and unusual miracles he illuminated all the Armenians in the 
diocese of [the apostles] Thaddeus and Bartholemew, resembling them in every way. It 
was he who baptized his relative King Trdat and, taking him, went joyfully to [gl50] 
Constantine, witnessing many miracles along the way. 

Constantine greeted them and held festivals to celebrate their arrival, with [all the 
grandeur of] his kingdom. 

They consulted together about the regulation of the Church, and about the good of the 
land, and they made an unbreakable vow with each other. Then they returned to their 
own land filled with honors and gifts. 

In the second year of his reign, Constantine went to [the city of] Byzantium and enlarged 
it by 4 mil of land, adorned it, and named it after himself [Constantinople]. He 
constructed in it a large church in honor of Irene, and another dedicated to the Apostles. 
Then he moved the court there from Rome. He placed all his cares with God. He gave 
the order that the pagan temples throughout the country should be pulled down and 
Churches built. And he ordered that no one should enter the army or go to war unless he 
had been baptized [gl51]. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 



Chapter 9 

The Heretic Avian. 



In that time the priest Arius appeared in Alexandria with seven adherents. Satan 
recognized in him a weapon for his evil, and tried to reinstitute the worhip of created 
beings through him. For he had him say that the Son of God was [merely] the first of the 
created beings. [Arius] wrote a letter to [bishop] Eusebius of Nicomedia, revealing his six 
adherents, and won his support as well. These adherents, all bishops, were: Eusebius 
(Sebeos) of Caesarea, Thautos of Laocidea, Julian of Sur, At'anas of Anazarb , Grigor of 
Taruth, Athis of Lydia. 

As soon as his wickedness had been established he was condemned by Peter, bishop of 
Alexandria. 

Now following the martyrdom of the patriarch, some noteworthy figures espoused his 
cause, among them: Maris, bishop of Chalcedon, Eusebius of Nicomedia, Melitos bishop 
of the Egyptians who had sacrificed [to the idols] [gl52] during the persecutions — he 
was defrocked — Aithales, and many others. And in this period there occured a severe 
earthquake in Egypt which destroyed many cities and towns, a manifestation of the 
heresy of Arius. 

The blessed Alexander, Peter's successor, convened a meeting of many bishops in Egypt 
to consider Arius, and they anathematized him and all his adherents. 

He wrote the anathema and had it circulated throughout the country, but he was unable 
to quench the polluting fire. Finally [Alexander] informed the emperor and begged him 
to convene a general council. 

When the emperor heard about this he was greatly saddened. First he wrote a letter to 
Alexander and to Arius to conceal the issue and make peace. Alexander tried, but the 
disease spread throughout [gl53] the entire country, which further affected the emperor, 
and interfered with [the celebration of] Easter. 



Thus Constantine issued an order that the heads of the Church and other worthies 
convene a council at Nicaea in Bithynia. This order was implemented, and thousands and 
tens of thousands of clerics and deacons as well as 3 1 8 bishops assembled. The 
patriarchs were: Alexander from Alexandria, Makar from Jerusalem, Eustace from 
Antioch, Aristake's from Armenia, Usios from Kur'tabia, Vitus and Vincent priests from 
Rome, legates of the Pope, Julius of Sebastia and James of Nisibis. 

Now the emperor had constructed a broad and vast palace, and the meeting was held 
there. As for the emperor himself, he waited upon and served them. The patriarchs 
observed the divine grace on the emperor's face. And they placed a chair for him in their 
midst and begged him to be seated, but he refused and remained standing and listening to 
the words of faith. The entire assembly enjoyed stipends from the emperor, from the 
20th of the month of Iar until the 19th [gl54] of the month of Heziran. First they began 
the examination using rhetorical style, and many speakers followed this same method. 

However, then a certain wise young prince arose and said to the multitude: "Christ and 
His disciples did not address us using artful words, but in firm faith maintained by pious 
deeds." This overturned the session of the philosophers, and by imperial order matters 
were turned over to the churchmen. Having as their guide the Holy Spirit, they 
established the profession of faith of the Apostles and doctrine based on their preachings. 
Yet there were many opposed who did not accept this. 

The emperor expelled [these dissidents], and the mysterious number [of participants] was 
supplemented by true believers. The emperor begged them to celebrate Easter together 
on the foundation of truth, as it should be, as well as all the holy days, so that the body 
of Christ not be torn asunder. Moreover he asked that Sunday be glorified with a solemn 
assembly, rest from activities, and words of doctrine, and that Saturday be [gl55] 
dedicated to remembering the martyrs and worthy servants of God. 

For the emperor had heard about this from Sylvester and from Gregory the Parthian 
[Gregory the Illuminator] and thus did they canonize this by order of the Holy Spirit. 
The emperor with his own hand issued an edict ordering death by evil and bitter torture 
for those who dishonored the clerics. 

This council took place in the 20th year of Constantine's reign which was the 5833rd 
year from the expulsion of Adam. They anathematized after Arius, Eusebius the bishop 
of Nicomedia, Theognis of Nicaea, Maris of Chalcedon, T'ovma of Markak who were 
prominent men. 

Now the emperor's mother, having had a divine vision, went to Jerusalem with Sylvester. 
There she uncovered the tomb of Christ which had been concealed with a statue of 
Venus, and also discovered through torments the Cross of Christ which was buried at 



Golgotha by Judas and revealed to Mark, the bishop of Jerusalem. 

The queen [mother] sanctified Jerusalem and constructed churches on the holy places, 
and [gl56] entrusted them to Markar, who is Mark, the bishop of Jerusalem. She also 
had constructed monasteries for men and women and virgins, and saw to their upkeep 
with imperial funds. 

Then Arius had recourse to a ruse and tricked the naive emperor. He begged to see the 
emperor as a penitent, in order to present him with a confession of his true beliefs. Then 
he entered the emperor's presence having two manifestos: one written large which 
followed the true confession, and the other written small which he concealed in the 
sleeve of his garment which contained his blasphemies. And he proclaimed, "If Arius 
glorifies God, unlike what is written here, it proclaims his glory." And the emperor 
believed him. However, He who knows secrets unmasked him by the prayers of the 
blessed bishop of Alexandria. 

The emperor became even firmer in the faith of Nicaea and glorified God by making the 
Church free throughout the country and designating ample stipends for each church, that 
widows and orphans be maintained by the churches, and that each church have complete 
copies of the Old and New Testaments [gl57], so that the clergy occupy itself with 
knowledge and learning about Christ, and that some astronomers concern themselves 
with the science of the calendar so that the feasts and times be accurately observed to 
prevent weakening of the faith by such errors. He also ordered that canvas churches be 
constructed to take along when he was traveling during battles, so that the mass and 
communion could be properly celebrated in his presence. 

The emperor also had constructed an immense octagonal church in Antioch, and a bridge 
over the Danube River. And he passed over it with his troops en route to Scythia, which 
is Russia, and greatly vanquished them. The survivors he had converted to Christianity, 
and then he returned home. 

In these times the Iberians and the Indians believed in Christ God. And as he went he 
further embellished the blessed Church, and the barren bride became fertile again. 

Now Constantine had three sons. The eldest was named Constantine after his father; the 
second, Constans; and the youngest, Costas. During his lifetime he made them Caesars, 
and they ruled along with him [gl58]. 

Now Constantine the Great had a brother named Dalmatios who had two sons, Galianos 
and Julian. 

When Constantine was 65 years old, he became ill in Nicomedia, as the blessed James 



relates, when he wanted to go against Persia. When the severity increased, he requested 
baptism which was given him, since to that time he had not been baptized. This was 
because he had wanted to go to the Jordan [River] and be baptized there. 

Then Constantine left a testament for his three sons, since none was with him. To the 
eldest he gave the seat of Constantinople, to the middle, Antioch, and to the youngest, 
Rome. Then he entrusted the testament to a cleric named Eusebius, who was secretly 
Arian. 

Constantine the Great died on the feast of Pentecost, on Sunday, the 22nd day of the 
month of Iyar. He had reigned for 32 years. His body was taken to Constantinople and, 
gloriously, placed in the church of the Blessed Apostles. 

First the middle son arrived and received the will from that priest. He took 
Constantinople for his own [gl59] after promising the priest that he would hold to his 
[Arian] heresy. He gave Antioch to his elder brother. Now after some days, the eldest 
went to war against the youngest over Rome. Dalmatios, who was Caesar and 
commander of the troops in Rome, arose before him and killed him, and plotted a 
rebellion, but died for his wickedness. Costas also wanted to kill his sons, but spared 
them since Galianos was gravely ill and Julian was only a lad. Thus did they escape 
death. 

After some days they went to the middle brother in Constantinople. And he had them 
sent to a village named Makali near Caesarea, to study. They were zealously pious and 
martyrophiles. They started to build a martyrium in honor of the blessed Mamas in 
Caesarea. They both personally participaed in the construction. Now what Galianos build 
stood fast, but what Julian built crumbled and fell, presaging what was to come. 

Constans summoned Galianos and appointed him Caesar in Antioch. And yet, like his 
father, he plotted rebellion [gl60] and the emperor killed him. [Constans] threw Julian 
into prison for aiding his brother, but after a few days, through the intercession of the 
empress Eusebia he was released and sent to Athens for education. There Gregory 
Nazianus and Basilos a couple in the faith dwelled and prophesied his future to him. 

In that period Emperor Constans built a city in the Selucia country and named it 
Constantinopole [Cinopolis]. 

In the 6th year of Constans, king of Rome, Magnentius rose against him, seizing Italy 
and Africa. He ruled in Sirmium. Then, piling on the wickedness, some people 
assassinated Costos with his nephew Constantine, who had ruled with him for three 
years. 



When Constans heard about this he was enraged. He went against Magnentius and killed 
him and his cornier Ophilos. 

On that day a luminous cross appeared in the eastern sky. 

The emperor went to Rome and [gl61] subdued it. Then he returned to Constantinople 
and made Julian a Caesar, giving him his sister Aline', called Kostia, for a wife. Next he 
sent him against the barbarians. Julian went and defeated the enemies, taking many 
districts from them. 

Now the emperor went to the area around Antioch where he learned that the Jews had 
rebelled in Caesarea Palestina. He sent the army against them and crushed them. But he 
remained in error and struggled with the orthodox. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 10 

Julian the Apostate. 



Now it happened that Julian was walking down a street and a fateful event occurred. For 
a crown made of cloth fell and landed on his head. He was proclaimed emperor by the 
troops that were with him. Then did he reveal the impiety which until then he had kept 
concealed, distancing himself from God Who had saved him [gl62], and bowing down 
to the idols. He straightaway massed troops to go against the emperor. When Constans 
heard about this he was horrified, and had himself baptized by Euzoius (Zoyiose'), the 
bishop of Antioch, who was an Arian. Then he went against Julian. Between Cilicia and 
Syria he became sick and died of that illness. He lived 48 years and reigned for 25. But 
before he gave up the ghost, he repented and professed orthodoxy, saying: "Although I 
never regarded the Son of God as a created being, they gave me to state that he was 
inferior to the Father. And so did I sin before Him. Now I profess that the Son, the Holy 
Spirit, and the Father are consubstantial." Then he had the church stipulate that no one 
should enter battle without spiritual armor, that is, communion. Then did Constans die. 

Now Julian, as he was experienced in the art of magic, attributed this turn of events to 
the power of the demons. He came to Constantinople and began to rule, upsetting the 
order of the state. He abandoned [gl63] his wife, and donned the garb of philophers, 
that is to say, the dyed leather known as atim, meanwhile ridiculing the imperial purple. 

Some confirm this about Julian. [They say that] Asklepios and Licinius were two brother 
who had married the sisters of Emperor Constantine. 

Julian was the son of Asklepios. When his brother Gallianos was slain for fomenting 
rebellion, Julian took refuge at the holy altar and was spared through the intercession of 
the patriarch Athanasius. Licinius had a daughter named Eluthra who had inherited her 
father's property after his killing. She remained a Christian virgin. Desirous of visiting 
Jerusalem for prayer, she entrusted her property to Julian as a selfless philosopher garbed 
in skins. [Her property consisted of] 13 gold crowns decorated with precious stones, 155 



kendinars of gold women's ornaments, 97 kendinars of precious gold, plus invaluable 
and innumerable garments. 

Julian schemed with his teacher, the pagan Melenos, not to return Eluthra's valuables, 
and he hid them in his home. Thus [gl64] when the woman returned home, he deceived 
her and swore on the Gospels [that he did not have the property]. Thus Eluthra sadly was 
returning home. Now on the way she chanced upon a sundial which contained the image 
of an idol. This demon spoke to her, saying: "Worship me and be good to me the way 
your father was, and I will returned your property to you." But Eluthra did not heed 
these words. 

Now it happened that Julian was traveling on that same road and the same demon 
addressed him, saying: "I will expose you before the entire country, since you took the 
belongings of Eluthra, which I had given to her father who was dear to me, and you 
swore a false oath." Then was Julian terrified. He related this to Melenos who advised 
him: "Worship him, so he will not deliver upon his threats." Then he took him and they 
sacrificed to the demons. It happened that Melenos had a daughter who was pregnant. 
They sacrificed her, removed the baby and made a burnt offering of it. Then Melanos 
took Julian into a deep cavern, the dwelling place of demons, where he was promised a 
lifetime of 100 years and rule over the entire world. Julian mutilated himself and 
accepted the demons. When he became Caesar and afterwards succeeded to the throne, 
his faith was further [gl65] strengthened and he began engaging in witchcraft and 
sorcery, to sacrifice to the demons, and to mix the blood of the victims with the water 
and food, so that everyone who ate and drank shared their spirit. When he learned that 
there was a bronze statue of Christ that performed many healings in the home of a 
woman at Caesarea who was troubled with bloody flux, he ordered that it be demolished 
and that the image of an idol be erected there. However, the idol was burned by a fire 
hurled down by the Lord. 

Julian then went to Antioch. When he entered the city he was informed about what had 
happened and he became vexed. At that very moment he espied a Christian doctor of the 
Church. He said to the philosopher Libanus: "Ask the priest where the carpenter's son 
is." The reply given back was: "He is plying his father's trade. He is making a coffin for 
your king who will die in Persia." Though deeply wounded by this, neither of them made 
any response at the time. When [Julian] had entered the city he increased the stipends for 
the troops he was mustering to take to Persia, which made dahekans more dear. 

The city's rabble insulted him, saying: "Why is that beard of yours so long and thick 
[gl66]? Bring it here, we will chop it off, make a rope out of it, place it on the horns of 
the bulls and lead them to sacrifice to your gods, as a sign of your affection." The 
emperor flew into a rage and gave an order to his troops to slay them. However, a 



rhetorician calmed him down by suggesting that they were not worthy of death but of 
insult. 

And so the offenders were assembled, whipped, and released. 

It happened that in the mountains around Antioch there was a monastery named Apula, 
which contained the tomb of the patriarch Babela. [Julian] commanded that [Babela] be 
exhumed and brought to the city. The delighted Christians removed [the body] with 
psalms and blessings, for [Julian] erected a statue to Apollo [at the monastery]. He made 
inquiries using lots regarding the outcome of his expedition to Persia, but the demon did 
not reply. Then he realized that this was because of Babela. After moving [the holy man's 
body], the demon gave a favorable reply. The delighted emperor placed two tables 
before the idol. On one of them was fire and on the other, gold. Then he declared: "If 
anyone wants happiness, it is here at hand." Then he erected a third table and placed 
incense on it. And he ordered that people should take some incense and cast [gl67] it 
into the fire and then, with the same hand, take some gold. Many folk naively did that, 
not realizing the damage they were doing. 

They then went to eat and sat down at table. As was customary, they made the sign of 
the Cross over their bread and cups. Then one savant asked: "What is that you are doing 
after your apostasy?" 

Horrified they wondered: "When did we apostasize?" And [the savant] replied: "It 
happened when you threw incense on the fire and took the gold." 

When they heard this, they ran outside in a frenzy and they went to the emperor and 
threw the gold in his face, professing their Christianity and their willingness to die for the 
love of Christ. 

The emperor pardoned them, for he did not make martyrs of them. He experienced 
similar insults in Caesarea and he changed the name of that city to Bazke'n (? Mazaca), 
and the name of Constantinople which had been named after Constantine, to Biwzas. He 
also ordered that schools be given to the pagans, as well as hostels, and places for virgins, 
in the name of the gods, and that the pagan fables be studied and written [gl68]. He then 
sent to Edessa that a royal palace should be prepared for thim there, however the 
inhabitants refused. Although furious at Edessa, he postponed his revenge until he should 
peacefully return from Persia. Next he went to Harran where they received him with 
honor and he made sacrifices to Fortune. He exalted the Jews who resided there. He 
ordered that [some] should go to Jerusalem, rebuild the Temple and make their usual 
sacrifices. 

[The Jews] naively informed one another, assembled, and raised 3,000 measures of lime, 



went off to Jerusalem and commenced to rebuild the Temple. But fire descended from 
the Lord which burned the foundations they had laid and the tools they had been using 
for the construction. 

Julian extended his stay at Harran, erected idols and began to sacrifice. Suddenly the 
crown he wore fell from his head and was trampled by the horse behind him. Stretching 
his leg, he tore some of the royal garments. And the sorcerers told him: "That is reproof 
for you, since you have Christrian troops with you who are enemies of the gods." 
[Julian] believed [gl69] this and sent back 22,000 [troops]. He did not, however, retire 
the previous custom of having the Cross carried in advance, saying: "Who knows, if the 
Persians defeat us it will be a defeat of Him who was crucified and of His symbol." 

He took with him 397,000 troops, armored, not counting the attendants and craftsmen 
and merchants. Wherever he went he erected idols and sacrificed to them and asked 
them [about the results of his campaign]. And they told him: "Take courage, for we all 
march with you. The star Ares is at the head of your army, while the fate and destiny of 
Alexander is reserved for you." 

Julian went to Ctesiphon and ruined it. King Shapuh of the Persians left Ctesiphon, 
fleeing him. [Shapuh] sent word to him requesting peace and offering to pay taxes if he 
would depart. But the proud-hearted emperor would not listen. 

Shapuh assembled Persian troops and came against him via the Tigris River, and 
encamped at a distance. And still messengers were going back and forth and still [gl70] 
Julian would not heed [the requests for peace]. Then suddenly an arrow struck and 
pierced his entrail, and a great deal of blood poured from him. Scooping some up he 
threw it toward the sky, saying: "Oh Galilean you have won, you have won! Take and 
add my kingdom to those of your divinity." 

Now others maintain that the arrow came not from man but from the wrath of God, as if 
to indicate that although in his pride he was wearing armor, what could resist the wrath 
of God? 

And then the word of the man of God from Antioch was realized, for they made a coffin 
and placed in it [Julian]'s body covered with garbage. He had composed 1 ,000 [or, 40] 
philosophical tracts. Now the army was suffering from lack of food. They put as king 
their commander Jovian. However at first he refused them, saying: "I do not want to rule 
over an army devoted to idols." But then the troops unanimously exclaimed: "We are 
servants of Christ, God!" Then they did homage to the Cross and convinced Jovian. The 
crown was placed on his head. He made peace with the Persians, giving over Nisibis to 
them after taking its Christians away. Then he turned back to Cilicia, bearing the body of 
[gl71] the impious [Julian] which was buried near Tarsus. 



In Jovian, a goodly and pious man, the benevolent Lord gave powerful healing to the 
very grave ills of the Church. However, as we were unworthy, we enjoyed him for only a 
brief time. He reigned for only 7 months before he died of a kidney ailment in the 
territory between Galatia and Bithynia. He did not even reach Constantinople. 

Then the army went to Nicaea and proclaimed as emperor the wise and brave Valentinian 
who hailed from the city of Cibali (Kapelion) in Pannonia (P'ania). They also wanted to 
appoint his colleague. But he said to them: "That is not for you to do, but for me. You 
chose me, and I will choose my co-ruler." And they agreed to this. 

[Valentinian] selected as his co-ruler Valens, and he entrusted the eastern parts to him. 
He had been baptized by Eudoxus, bishop of Constantinople, who had elevated his sect, 
which was Arian. Valens was the brother of Valentinian who had taken Rome and the 
western parts and kept the faith of Nicaea. He declared his son Gratian to be Augustus. 

Valens traveled to Egypt and entered [gl72] the city of Marcianopolis. As he was doing 
this, a severe earthquake struck which cast boats upon dry land and wrecked them. Then 
a crowd of people went to take the goods from the ships, since the waters had retreated. 
But then the waters returned, spreading throughout the country, destroying numerous 
cities and districts. Valens escaped by a hairsbreadth. This prodigy fortold the destruction 
of the Church due to Valens as, indeed, he was to wage war against the orthodox. He 
refused to listen to his brother when he chastised him. Valens waged war against the 
Goths, became put into difficulties, and sought his brothers' help. But [Valentinian] 
replied: "I will not help a man who wars against God." 

Valentinian himself went to war against the Sarmatians. They were terrified and sent 
envoys to him requesting peace. The emperor was shocked by their wretched appearance 
and their ignorance. And when they informed him that they represented the best from 
their ranks, he cried out: "Woe to the Romans if they make peace with such as these. 
How is it [gl73] that they have survived [the Romans] this long?" He was shouting at the 
top of his voice, broke a blood vessel, and died at the age of 84, having reigned for 1 1 
years. 

Contrary to law he had two wives: Severa and Justina, daughter of prince Justin. The 
latter was killed as a result of a dream which he saw and related regarding himself 
wearing the [imperial] purple. [Valentinian] had him killed so that, he said, a king would 
not issue from him. Then he married his daughter who bore him a son with his same 
name, and threee daughters. One of them was named Galia and was the wife of Emperor 
Theodosius, and the mother of Arcadius and Honorius. Gratian was his eldest son, born 
of his first wife. He had not been present at the time of his father's death. 

And so, the troops crowned Valens, who was a four-year-old boy. 



Valens placed his army under Gratian and sent him against the Goths. He was defeated 
and returned home and was ridiculed. 

Gratian, however, told him: "This defeat was not my doing but because of your heresy 
which wars against the arm of the Father." 

In this period, Mawie', queen of the Arabs (Tachiks) wrought great harm [gl74] on the 
land of the Romans. By birth a Roman, and by faith a Christian, she had been captured 
by the Arabs, becoming the wife of their king. After his death, she took power. Many 
became Christian because of her. 

She had asked Valens for the cleric Moses to be [sent to her as] the bishop of her 
country, and that if Valens agreed she would end the warfare. Valens sent for him and 
begged him to go to her. He barely agreed, but would not accept ordination from the 
Arians. Exiled for his orthodoxy, he went to Arabia and caused the expansion of 
Christianity there. 

In Antioch, Valens had the dimison constructed, which was a prison for the orthodox. 

In this same period a huge army was seen, marching visibly in the sky. 

In Antioch a child was born with one eye, four hands and four feet, and a thick beard. 
After a short while the Goths arose and enslaved numerous districts: Scythia, Thrace, 
Mysia, Macedonia, Achaea, and all of Hellas [gl75]. 

Valens fled to Constantinople [for safety] but the rabble ridiculed him, saying: "O heretic, 
go forth and fight the enemy, or give us arms so we may. Enraged, Valens went but 
threatened that if he returned in peace he would burn their city with fire. So he went to 
battle with the Goths, but was defeated by them and fled to some village. The barbarians 
surrounded the village. Valens hid in a silo for straw. When they failed to find him, they 
set fire to the village and the silo burned and that wicked man with it. Thus he died and 
awaits the future torments of hell. 

The barbarians pillaged right up to the gates of Constantinople, taking a great deal of 
booty. 

The military commander Theodosius went against them and defeated them. 

Gratian took over the kingdom after the destruction of Valens, who had ruled for 1 5 
years. He took Theodosius, a Spaniard and a wise and pious man, as his associate, giving 
him the eastern portion [of the empire] [gl76]. He wiped out the barbarian troops, then 
went on to their land and made them tributary. And then he returned, renowned and 



covered with glory. He went to Constantinople at Gratian's command. There Gratian 
declared him emperor, and thus Theodosius replaced him. 

At this point great tranquility descended on the Church, after 40 years of Arian heresy. 

In this time the Persians were ruled by Shapuh following the death of Artashir. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 11 

The Priest Melitos, Who Ruled that Ignorant Folk Not be Ordained. 



In the third year of Theodosius, Gratian was slain by the tyrant Maximius. Theodosius 
and the young Valentinian went against him and killed the tyrant, and then entered Rome 
covered in triumphal glory. Valentinian ruled as emperor in Rome [gl77] while 
Theodosius returned to Constantinople, He dispatched general Strategos [Shapur] to the 
East. Arriving at Antioch he discovered conflict in the Church, made peace, and gave the 
[patriarchal] throne to Melitos. 

Now in the fourth year of his reign Theodosius, on the advice of Gregory [Nazianzus] 
the Theologian, wanted to cleanse the Church of Arianism. Eight years prior to 
Theodosius' rule [Gregory] had come to the aid of the faith. 

Thus the emperor ordered that a council be held embracing the entire Church. One 
hundred and fifty Fathers assembled, chief of whom were: Timothy of Alexandria, Cyril 
of Jerusalem, Melitos of Antioch, the Blessed Nerse's of Greater Armenia returning from 
the exile imposed on him by Valens, Gregory Nazianzus of Constantinople, and Gregory 
of Nyssa. First they condemned the heresy of Arius, then that of Macedonius who had 
dared to blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and they added mention of the Holy Spirit to the 
Nicaean creed. 

Gregory the Theologian voluntarily stepped down from the See of Constantinople, and 
that See was given to Nectarius [gl78]. 

Melitos died at the council. The emperor himself wept over him, saying: "I saw him in a 
vision, annointing me king before I was the rightful king." Gregory of Nyssa honored 
him in a homily. His body was brought to Antioch where it was buried. 

Melitos authored a canon according to which people who were not knowledgable in the 
Old and New Testaments would not be ordained priests. [This ruling came about] 
because a priest at Antioch had ordained a deacon who was committing adultery with the 



wife of a prominent man in the city. As a result there was great disruptions and killings. 

Melitos said: "It is better to ordain a thornbush or something poisonous than an ignorant 
and unworthy person." 

At his time the emperor Theodosius grew ill in Thessalonica. Baptized by the bishop 
Aquila [Ascolius], he recovered. Then he went to Constantinople and built the great 
Church of the Resurrection (Anastasis). [In Constantinople] his wife Gallios [Flaccilla] 
bore a son, Honorius, and later Arcadius. Soon afterwards, she died [gl79]. 

There was a statue of her in Antioch, but when the rabble heard that she had died, they 
toppled the statue and dragged it around ignominiously. When the emperor learned about 
it he was furious, and the city judges sentenced many to death. The emperor, moreover, 
stripped [Antioch] of the honor of being called a capital city, giving that honor instead to 
Laodicea. 

When the cenobite Apollon heard about this matter, he came and reproached the princes 
of the city. And he wrote a letter to the emperor, saying: "Emperor, on a daily basis we 
dishonor the image of God in our souls. Why then do you get angry and pained about 
the bronze statue of your wife and kill men who are in the image of God? Do you know 
that you may fashion many bronze statues, but not images of God?" Hearing this the 
emperor was confounded and his wrath reduced, and he was reconciled with the city. 

In this period Thessalonika, the capital of Italy [Illyria] rebelled against the emperor and 
stoned to death the prince of the city. Enraged, the emperor sent an army against the city, 
ordering [gl80] it to crush them. Five thousand people, innocent and guilty died there. 

Ambrose, bishop of Milan, went before the emperor and met him at the door of a church 
he was planning to enter. But [the bishop] blocked his way and forbade entry, saying to 
him: "After shedding blood, are you not ashamed to enter the house of God? Turn back. 
Take the ban which God has imposed upon you through me." The emperor turned back 
with tears in his eyes. Eight months passed, the feast of Christmas arrived, and the 
emperor sat in his chamber, weeping bitterly. 

The magister Rufinus made bold to approach him. "Why do you weep, emperor?" 
[Theodosius] replied: "Who wouldn't cry? My own servants and the beggars of the 
country are free and able to enter the house of God, while I, who am called king, am 
restrained on earth and in heaven. They may enjoy the heavenly blessing of this feast 
while I am deprived of it." 

Rufinus said to him: "Come along, let us go and beseech the bishop. Indeed, haven't 
eighth months of your repentence passed already?" The emperor replied: "I doubt that he 



will heed me or [gl81] receive me with respect after violating the laws of God before 
completion of the full term [of the ban]." But Rufinus led the way, and the emperor 
followed him. 

When the bishop saw Rufinus, he discerned the devil's work in him and said: "Advisor of 
impiety and encourager of evil, where are you going? " Then did Rufinus fall at his feet, 
saying: "Behold, the emperor is following me in all humility and relying on the 
intervention of the holy feast." Then the bishop retorted: "Let him kill me if he so 
chooses, the way he killed others, but I will not permit that bloody creature to enter the 
Church of my God." And this was related to the emperor. 

The emperor said: "Then I shall go and accept reproof for my deeds, as I deserve." 

The emperor came to the door of the church wherein was the bishop, and cried out in a 
loud voice. The bishop shouted: "Do you dare [to approach], will you be so brazen?" 
The emperor replied: "No holy father, I will do nothing without you[r approval]. [I came] 
only that I should see the church door and hear your voice." 

The bishop asked: "What has your penance been, that you should be allowed [to enter 
theChurch]?[gl82]" 

The emperor said: "The abstinence and almsgiving that you imposed me, Holy Father, 
and anything else you stipulate as a remedy to my injury, I am prepared to accept." The 
bishop said: "You are cruel and hateful towards the guilty, too easily believe the 
slanderous insinuations of informers and intriguers. [I want you to] write in your own 
hand a law for requiring that three days pass before acting on the betrayals you hear 
about, and that 40 days pass before executing those condemned, during which time 
inquiries must be made as to the facts, during which time your heart will become tranquil 
and your anger will lessen. And furthermore, see that all the judges and princes under 
your sway comport with this." 

The emperor immediately wrote [such a decree] and sent it to all the judges and princes 
in the country. 

The bishop then permitted him to enter the Church, which he did with fear and trembling 
while the entire multitude wept loudly. 

The emperor then hurled himself onto the ground and cried out: "Oh Lord, I grovel on 
the ground. Show me Your mercy." After much weeping, he stood up again. He then 
approached the altar and wanted to go to his usual seat [gl83]. 

But the bishop [intervened and] said: "Humility is for you at present. Go stay with the 



people of the Lord in the backmost row, until you have been completely purified." 

The emperor joyfully took himself to the last row and stood there among the penitents. 
Such was the emperor's faith and piety. 

In this period were found the relics of the blessed Step'annos and those who were with 
him, by the patriarch of Jerusalem, Yovhanne's, a very virtuous man who preached 
orthodox sermons. 

Now in the 13th year of his reign, Theodosius proclaimed his son Arcadius king of the 
eastern regions. 

In this same period the princes Eugene (O'ganos) and Arbogast put to death Valentinian 
in Rome. 

When Theodosius learned of this, he was saddened and arose with few troops to go 
against the tyrants. But when he had approached he discovered that they had quite a 
multitude of troops. Then those accompanying him suggested that he delay until more 
troops should arrive. 

In the evening the emperor went off alone, entered a cave, and called out to the Lord for 
most of the evening [gl84. 

And the evangelist John and Philip, one of Christ's Apostles, appeared and said unto him: 
"Behold, the Lord has sent us to aid you. Fear not and do not await assistance. 
Tomorrow will be the day of your victory." 

Thus encouraged, the next morning the emperor did triumph, destroying the tyrants, and 
enthroning in Rome his son Honorius. According to some, he was younger than 
Arcadius. 

The emperor returned to Milan where he sickened and then reposed in Christ. He had 
lived 60 years, and reigned for 16 years and 8 months. 

In Persia, Bahram [IV] (Urharawn Germanshah), son of Shapuh and brother of Ardashir 
[IE] ruled, 1 1 years. 

As for Theodosius, he deserves great praise, especially for his submission to the Church 
and for the peace [he brought to it]. But at first he did not want to persecute the Arians. 
[This changed when] one day the bishop Jamblichos came before him. He greeted the 
emperor but completely ignored the emperor's imperial son who was seated by his father, 
not even looking at him. And the emperor [gl85] said to him: "Father, bless this son of 



mine whom I have enthroned." 

The bishop said to him: "You are enough for us, O King. We shall not honor him, any 
more than one of your servants." The emperor grew furious. 

Then Jamblichos continued: "You, a mortal, do not countenance insult to your son. 
Should immortal God then countenance [people] saying that His Only Begotten was a 
creation? What say you?" 

Dumbfounded, the emperor ordered that the Arians be persecuted boldly, and he ordered 
that his sons and princes do likewise. And then he reposed in Christ. 

Following the death of the emperor, there was born in Emmaus a child with two heads 
above the chest, four arms, and with the lower part like that of a normal person. He lived 
two years. If one head ate, the other did not eat, and when one was asleep, the other 
remained awake. Sometimes they played with one another; [sometimes one would] laugh 
[while the other] cried. They died four days apart. 

Emperor Arcadius followed his father's piety [gl86]. He was honest and chaste, and 
underneath the imperial purple he wore a hairshirt, and he practised virtue and charity. 
He had John [Chrysostom] of Antioch in Syria brought to him for he was desirous of 
seeing him because of his reputation. When he saw him, he found his eloquence, 
miracles, and holiness to be ten times more than supposed. [Arcadius] made him bishop 
of Constantinople. Some people, however, were not so impressed by him, since initially 
he did not speak polished Greek. That was because his father was Syrian and had been 
schooled in that [Syriac] language. [John] was bishop for seven years, lived in exile for 
three years, and died at the age of 50 in Comana, Armenia [or, in the Armenian areas]. 
After his baptism, he did not drink wine, did not laugh or swear, or make oaths, or curse 
anyone. Nor, when exalted did he seek [more] honors. 

When he went into exile, he touched the Church, saying: "Stay well, holy Church, home 
of the glory of God, and forget not my labors because, thanks to the gifts I received from 
God, I added to its treaures 800 books and 12,000 homilies [gl87]." 

At that time Yazdgird ruled the Persians. And then Emperor Arcadius fell ill. He had his 
eight-year-old son named Theodosius proclaimed emperor. Now since Honorius had no 
son, the sole heir of the empire was Theodosius. Yet since [Arcadius] worried about 
[Theodosius'] youth, he wrote a will entrusing care of the child to Yazdgird. Then he 
reposed in the Lord, having reigned for 1 3 years. 

Now when Yazdgird learned about this, he sent a wise tutor to the lad and also 
threatened them if they did not faithfully serve the young Theodosius. There was then 



peace between Persia and the Romans, and Christianity grew among the Persians 
through the mission of bishop Maruta there. 

Honorius died at Rome without leaving an heir. Thus his relative Constantine ruled, 
however, after a short time he was killed through the treachery of a usurper. 

Theodosius appointed his cousin (father's sister's son), Valentinian, as emperor in Rome, 
and also sent his mother there. Subsequently he sent him a crown. [Valentinian] reigned 
for 32 years [gl88]. Theodosius appointed his cousin (father's sister's son), Valentinian, 
as emperor in Rome, and also sent his mother there. Subsequently he sent him a crown. 
[Valentinian] reigned for 32 years [gl88]. 

Theodosius was a modest man, a vegetarian, whose table, during fasts, had neither olive 
oil nor wine. After the death of the bishop of Hebron, he requested his filthy hair shirt, 
and he donned that every night. He was so lacking in hatred that some asked why he 
allowed those condemned to death to live. And he replied: "It is for God to grant life or 
death. I am begging the Lord to return to us from the dead, so why should I add to the 
dead?" 

In that period Yazdgird died and Vahahran [Bahram V], his son, ruled Persia for 22 
years. He rescinded his father's treaty and made war against Theodosius. The latter, 
through his prayers, defeated the Persians, killed, and took captives. 

In his time Acacius of Amida displayed his virtue by purchasing the Persian prisoners and 
sending them home. He sold the Church vessels for the captives' needs, as a result of 
which his faith was praised in Persia. The king of Persia wanted to see him, and greatly 
exalted him, to the glory of Christ [gl89]. 

In this period Simeon the Stylite at Antioch and Mar Barsouma on the borders of 
Armenia Minor were noteworthy. 



Michael the Syrian's 
Chronicle 

Chapter 12 

The Heretic Nestorius. 



In this period bishop Nestorius moved from Antioch to Constantinople and with him a 
certain priest named Anastas. One day, having mounted the pulpit, he initiated a new 
heresy by claiming that Mary was the mother of a man, not the Mother of God. The 
people were indignant and expected that Nestorius would censure him. 

However the foolish Nestorius, aided by the demons, was pleased with what had been 
said and promulgated it throughout the land. Consequently the great Synod was 
convened at Ephesus in the 21st year of Theodosius, being 742 of the Syrian Era, that is 
A.D. 423. 

One hundred ninety three bishops, priests, and a very large number of clerics [gl90]. 
The principals were: bishops Arcadius and Proctios legates of Celestin, Pope of Rome; 
Cyril of Alexandria; Memnon of Ephesus; John of Antioch; Acacius of Meletine; Juvenal 
of Jerusalem. As regards Sahak, patriarch of the Armenians, he was otherwise occupied 
and sent a letter supporting whatever they agreed to. 

They all anathematized Nestorius, with the exception of John of Antioch and 26 bishops 
with him, who declined to do so. And thus they were anathematized along with 
Nestorius. 

By order of the emperor, [Nestorius] was exiled to Persian Khuzistan. John and his 
supporters repented and remained with Cyril, confessing their ignorance in Nestorius' 
heresy. Having consulted together, they recognized true orthodoxy [gl91]: 

Whoever — king, bishop, or Council — seeks to establish a new faith or doctrine [in 
Christianity] let them be anathematized. And let [the formulation of] Nicaea continue 
until the end of the world. 

The prelates who were anathemized with Nestorius conviction were: Theodoritos 



(Theodoret), bishop of the city of Gour (Cyrrhus), Andrew of Samosata, Alexander of 
Membedj, Ariane (Irenaeus?) of Sour (Tyr), John of Cilicia, Athrinos of Taron with 
others. 

Maximos was installed as bishop in Nestorius' place. 

Now in 29th [read 41st] year of his reign Theodosius the Lesser heard about the conflict 
between Flavian, bishop of Constantinople, and the archmandrite Eutyches. [The 
emperor] ordered that a second council be convened at Ephesus, 8 years after the first 
[gl92], and wrote this letter to Cyril's successor Dioscorus: 

"We, autocrats and emperors Theodosius and Valentinian the conquering kings, greet you 
the holy father bishop Dioscorus. 

Be it known to your holiness that Nestorius' bitter root has spread its branches into 
Flavian, and that the views of Manes have influenced the monk Eutyches. So our learned 
men have informed us. Since it is your spiritual work to cleanse the Church, the spotless 
bride of Christ, make haste to relieve the sorrow of your Mother on her heavenly couch. 
Bring with you 1 metropolitans and ten educated bishops capable of lighting the torch 
of orthodox faith and placing it on a chandelier for the joy of the inhabitants of heaven 
and earth. Also bring with you 10 bishops from Palestine and Juvenal, archbishop of 
Jerusalem. But do not bring to us those who sickened in the faith during the time of 
Cyril, Theodoret and the others with him. Julius the Roman is here with us. He is filling 
[gl93] the place occupied by Leo. The latter had written a letter displeasing to some 
which was brought to the council convened during Cyril's time, and which was not 
accepted. Also bring with you the great hermit father of the desert, Mar Barsuma, to 
represent the eastern monastics. We have invited him too since the spirit of God resides 
in him and since he greatly loathed Nestorius and the letter of Leo. When you have done 
this, come and welcome, keeping well on the path of truth." 

Dioscoros was pained at the developments described in the letter. He made haste and 
implemented [what was asked of him], and arrived at Ephesus. There he encountered 
120 (or, 128) other invited bishops, chief of whom were: Dioscorus of Alexandria; 
Juvenal of Jerusalem; Domnas of Antioch; Eustace of Beirut; Theodolus of Armenian 
Caesarea; Eusebius of Melitene (or, of Cilicia); and Mar Barsuma, head of the cenobites. 
They conducted an investigation and determined that Flavianf's beliefs] were those of 
Nestorius [gl94]. 

Eutyches, meanwhile, cursed the heresy but did not distance himself from the sect, [for 
he claimed] that the incarnation of Our Lord had occurred in a fantastic manner. He was 
anathematized by the council. 



Flavian wrote a confession of his own faith which was confirmed by the signatures of 
Basil bishop of Seleucia, Julian of Rome, Eudocos of Cyprus, and Seleucus of Emesia. 
When the assembly read this document, they cried out in unison: "Burn it, burn that 
godless letter. May Flavian be cursed and those who share his beliefs." And they deposed 
[Flavian] from his [episcopal] seat. 

In addition they deposed Domnus of Antioch and seven suffragan bishops with him: 
Irenaeus, bishop of Sour (Tyre), Akimos from Zeboul, Theodoritos from Gouris 
(Cyrrhus), Ibas from Edessa, Severus from Thrumo, Daniel from Harran, and they 
anathematized the letter of Leo which had been denounced by the first assembly and 
judged unworthy of a reading. 

Then a letter arrived from the emperors, beseeching [gl95] them neither to add to nor to 
subtract from the decisions of the preceding three councils, but rather to affirm the 
tripartite [nature of God], to the glory of the Holy Trinity. And that is what they did. The 
council wrote a confession of faith regarding the Incarnation of Christ: one person, one 
nature, one Christ having one will and one activity. Christ is truly man and God, one 
spirit, body, and mind, actually and not in theory. Let those who reject this be 
anathematized. 

Following the dissolution of the council, envoys went and told Leo what had transpired. 
He was deeply hurt. He summmoned Flavian and heard his confession and was very 
pleased. 

Then Flavian told Leo: "Dioscorus has accused you of being a Nestorian and 
anathematized you along with him, as well as those in agreement with you." 

Then Leo became gravely troubled and sought some means of deposing Dioscorus. 

At this time the emperor's wife and his sister, Pulcheria, made a pilrimage to Rome where 
they were properly [gl96] honored by Emperor Valentinian, who was the cousin (father's 
sister's son) of Theodosius the Younger, and by the entire population of Rome. They 
were taken to the cathedral of the blessed Apostles where the clergy came to greet them, 
but Leo did not. Rather, he had thrown himself to the ground behind a curtain and began 
to cry. When they lifted the curtain, they asked him tenderly and with respect why he 
wept. Then they seated him. He replied: "Dioscorus rent the Orthodox faith and has 
insulted the seat of the holy Apostles". 

They comforted him and said: "Let it be as you wish and command, Father." 

He asked them to intercede with the emperor to convene another ecumenical council. 
And he wrote [and sent along] with them a letter beseeching them. "Everyone is familiar 



with my writings. Let them be examined and let the anathema of the cursed Nestorius not 
be applied to me." 

But when the emperor heard this request, he declined saying: "I believe and accept the 
determination of Cyril and [gl97] Dioscorus who found that Leo shared [the errors of] 
Nestorius. Let what they have concluded stand." 

The emperor reposed in Christ at the age of 50, after reigning for 42 years, remaining 
firm in the Apostolic faith. 

Then the throne was occupied for 6 years by Marcian, Theodosius' sister's son, and old, 
ignorant and unlettered man. He had been chosen by the emperor's sister, Pulcheria, who 
had illicit relations with him when she was a nun. Now during the first year of their reign 
they received the same request in a letter from Leo that they convene a larger council 
than Dioscorus had, which would increase their prestige. And [Leo] reminded Pulcheria 
of her promise and added: "Lo, I have sent you my honorable letter first so that prior to 
convening this council you send to all the bishops of Asia demanding their signatures. 
This will give greater strength to our side." 

When they heard about this, they consented for two reasons. First, because of Pulcheria's 
oath [gl98] and promise [to Leo], and second out of fear of Valentinian in Rome and of 
Leo himself, since without them it was impossible to consecrate an emperor in 
Constantinople. Thus they were afraid that they would not be sanctioned if they acted 
otherwise. 

Thus it was that they were eager to comport themselves with [Leo's] request. They wrote 
imperial letters both requesting and threatening [the bishops] about signing the letter of 
Leo. These were circulated via important court officials and by bishops who had come 
from Rome. When the messengers returned to the emperor and to Pulcheria they had 
446 episcopal signatures, which caused them great joy. Then they themselves signed it. 

Next they sent invitations everywhere except to Armenia which was not under their 
control and whose patriarch [? Sahak] had recently died. They had not yet put anyone 
[gl99] on his [patriarchal] throne, and so did not send [a representative]. All this 
happened through God's providence so that a recollection of the past be preserved 
among them. 

Seven hundred bishops had assembled. The chief among them were: Tromopicos, 
Lilopas, Lucinisos, Ascolion, Roman vicars of Leo, Juvenal of Jerusalem, Dioscoros of 
Alexandria, Domus of Antioch, Basil of Seleucia, Peter the Iberian, bishop of Gaza and 
chief [bishop] of Palestine. Despite the double anathema he had incurred, Theodoritos 
was appointed head of the Council. The blessed Dioscorus said: "Can such evil be 



allowed? Have you forgotten the words of Saint Paul who said 'If I build on something 
that has been demolished, I too am guilty.' How could such a man, tainted by anathema, 
be entrusted with building?" Juvenal joined him and moved everyone. Thus they were 
with Dioscorus and said: "The great Cyril anathematized anyone imposing a new faith, 
and we second that. We anathematize any regulation not decreed by the Apostles [g200]. 
Let it be anathematized by Cyril." 

The emperor and Pulcheria were dismayed by this. They began to flatter their opponents 
and to present them with bribes. Juvenal was given three cities in Palestine, and thus did 
he come to harmony with them. Four hundred fourty-six bishops went along with him 
and signed the letter of Leo. Two hundred fifty-four [bishops] stayed with Dioscorus. 
They were bound, tortured, exiled, and killed, but they did not depart from the love of 
Christ. Others were lured into the trap of deception, acknowledging the Virgin as Mother 
of God and two distinct natures in Christ. But if those natures are distinct, then how 
could a virgin be the mother of God? This was the doctrine which plunged the world into 
turmoil. The council lasted for two and a half years. 

Now some learned philosophers arrived from Armenia and debated with the adherents of 
Leo using Scripture and [g201] philosophical reasoning. And they triumphed over [the 
adherents of Leo]. Then they fearlessly went their way. 

As for those who had been anathematized by Cyrial and Dioscorius, they returned to 
their episcopal thrones with honor and wealth, with gifts, and accompanied by troops. 

Jerusalem did not accept Juvenal. Instead, they seated as patriarch Theodorus and 
submitted to him. 

However, Juvenal wrote a letter to Marcian who sent troops who removed Theodorus 
and established Juvenal [as patriarch]. Then [Juvenal] travelled around Palestine 
accompanied by Jews and got people to accept the heresy [of Chalcedon]. Those who 
refused to accept it were tortured, robbed, and killed by the Jews. 

Only Peter, bishop of Gaza, was respected due to his great virtue. It is said that he was 
son of the king of Iberia [Georgia] who had been exiled to Constantinople where he 
studied theology, accepted a very ascetic religious practise and achieved renown. He was 
made a priest against his will, and then an archbishop in Gaza, Palestine. No one dared to 
oppose him [g202]. 

He wrote a letter to the Armenians congratulating them on not attending the Council. 
And he said, further: "Just as your land gave humanity's seed to the entire world through 
[Noah's] ark, so will you preserve the seed of orthodoxy for the whole world. Remain 
steadfast to the ineffable rock of Christ, my children and dear ones, and be well forever." 



Now the blessed Peter had a certain student named John who was a cenobite and 
visionary. He wrote down 72 entries that he knew or had heard from others as well as 
predictions about events before and after the Council. This demonstrated that the false 
Council of Chalcedon was wicked and took place because of anger and abandonment of 
the Lord, not by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as those of Nicaea, Constantinople, 
and Ephesus. We wish to insert [John's writings] here to aid those of orthodox faith. 

Although the entries were made both before and after the Council, we shall not 
differentiate or interrupt the narrative, which is as follows [g203]: 

1 . Our father and blessed patriarch Peter told me that Nestorius was the cause of the 
Chalcedonian heresy. He said: "I was in Constantinople on the feast of the Forty Holy 
Martyrs, and we were all gathered in the mother cathedral. Nestorius gazed at the image 
of the Mother of God and said: "Oh Mary, don't boast that you bore God. For you were 
human and bore a man, as my priest has said." Just at that moment he was struck by a 
demon and fell to the floor. Deacons raised him up, and took him to his dwelling. And 
thus began the confusion within the Church. Although Nestorius kept silent for a while, 
he did not abandon his wicked beliefs." 

2. The same blessed father [Peter the Iberian] told me about the hermit Palakios of 
Edessa who had the gift of prophecy. Having heard about the heresy of Ibas, he 
condemned it. But he was not heeded. As a result the blessed man came to Palestine and 
remained there in silence. He came to me in Gaza everyday for spiritual matters. Now 
one day for a while he fell into a trance and we knew that he was having a vision. Later, 
in response to our questions, he said: "Seven years from now there will be an emperor 
named Marcian who will convene an assembly that will encourage Nestorius. You [Peter] 
and I will suffer greatly and lose our lives." 

3. This same Palakios on another occasion had a vision and uttered: "Woe to you, 
Pulcheria, woe to you!" Then, when many people gathered and asked him about this, he 
said: "Pulcheria who devoted herself to God [as a nun], became a whore and turned 
from God and ruined orthodoxy." 

4. The same Palakios related: "Once I went to Jerusalem and encountered the ascetic and 
holy man of God [g204] bishop Evilios. 



[We omit the translation of pp. 204-222, which concern a hermit's miracles] 

Marcian ruled tyrannically for 6 years and then perished fully accursed. Valentinian died 
the very same year, which was 769 of the Syrian Era. And then the kingdom of the 
Romans split away from Constantinople, and so also was peace [g222] disturbed for the 



Church. One of Marcian's princes, Leo of Thrace, ruled alone in Rome. 

In the same year Peroz ruled in Persia, initiating persecution against Christians and war 
against the Romans. [Emperor] Leo gave his daughter [in marriage] to prince Zeno, and 
designated him as ruler of the eastern parts [of the empire]. He made Basiliscus the 
stratelat in Thrace, and Murinos, Caesar in Rome. Soon afterwards he was slain by 
Ricimer, and Anthemius and Lucaros [? Glycerius] were proclaimed as Caesars. 

In this period Callinicos which was known as Ragha was built up by order of Emperor 
Leo, who gave it his name, Leontipolis. At this time there was a fire in Constantinople 
the likes of which had never been seen. It burned the place from sea to sea. The emperor 
left the city and was not able to reenter it for six months. Leo published an edict to the 
effect that on Sundays, young and old should assemble in the churches for prayer and 
study [g223].